More than just history "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is one of my all time favorites. It is not just history but it feels more like a thriller revealing the plots as you read it on. The most remarkable fact is that it is based wholly on facts. Hats off to William.L.Shirer for preparing a book like this. Imagine how he would have consolidated all the facts. The book has quite a good no. of pages(more than 1100). It takes some time to finish it but still it is worth the time spent on it. If any one is interested in the history of Germany under Nazi rule and the insides and outs of the role of Germany in the Second World War then this is the right book. Moreover it also covers enough details of the character and life of Adolf Hitler. Overall one will not regret spending time on this book.
Entertaining, interesting, just not entirely believable This book is meticulously researched with as extensive a bibliography as one would expect for a book which tries to cover in one volume a phenomenon lasting 12 years. The style does not carry the reader. This book is more a history student's companion guide rather than a volume one would pick up for the pleasure of reading. I also found irritatingly large numbers of pages where fly on the wall narration was provided without reference to a source which strained credibility because the author was not present when certain events occured, such as the meeting between Stalin and Ribbentrop in August 1939. This struck me as poor investigative journalism and more than once I wanted to close the book for good because of historical inaccuracies, the first of which really bothered me which was the death of Ewald von Kleist, whom I know was still alive in 1974. For the most part, the narrative fleshes out the bones provided by the the references used in the bibliography quite admirably, but at times the story is weighed down by the author's labouring to provide the detail. He says the book was 25 years in the writing. It has taken me more than 12 months to read the 1000+ pages, largely because the style just doesn't flow as perhaps the style of a Hugh Trevor-Roper flows. The subject matter is fascinating, meticulously researched and extensively annotated, but as historical records go, it seems the composition was not a labour of love for the author and so it is not a labour of love to get through as a reader. I find the faults with this book are what I am remembering most, whereas with other books on this subject, my overall impressions are positive across the entire book. This is not one you're going to read twice from cover to cover.The very definition of a classic piece of writing Every home ought to have a bookshelf in the family room where classic, timeless books are kept as homages to reading and learning, and this book is required for that bookshelf. So thorough, so well-written, so engrossing: it is undeniably a masterpiece.