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Description

The final volume in Richard J. Evans’s masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a “people’s community” to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler’s campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as “a masterpiece” (William Grimes in The New York Times) and “the most comprehensive history… of the Third Reich” (Ian Kershaw), this epic trilogy reaches its terrifying climax in this volume.

Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war’s progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people - from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since.

Fresh insights into the conflict’s great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler’s suicide in the bunker. But just as important is the re-creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, staggering under pressure from Allied bombing and their own government’s mounting demands upon them. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermination of Europe’s Jews, set in the context of Hitler’s genocidal plans for the racial restructuring of Europe.

Blending narrative, description, and analysis, The Third Reich at War creates an engrossing picture - at once sweeping and precise - of a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. It is the culmination of a historical masterwork that will remain the most authoritative work on Nazi Germany for years to come.

Listen to previous volumes in Richard J. Evans' Third Reich trilogy.
©2009 Richard J. Evans (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

Critiques

"Masterful….Evans demonstrates a fluent style and a sweeping grasp of the Third Reich’s history and of the enormous historical literature….Evans narrates the Reich’s end in gripping fashion as the Allies closed in on Germany. Evans’s fellow historians as well as a broader public will listen to this work, not quite with pleasure, for there is little joy in this story, but with admiration for the author’s narrative powers.” ( Publisher’s Weekly)

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Notations

Global

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 03/09/2010

Masterful

The series, taken as a whole, sets the standard for WWII history. These cannot be overlooked, or diminished. Indeed, it is difficult to adequately describe how well researched and written are each of these three volumes. I have read or listened to every history of WWII I have been able to find (well over 50) in English, Russian and French, and up until now Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" was, I felt, the definitive historical account of Nazi Germany (if you haven't read/listened to it, you should) even though it was published over 50 years ago. This series surpasses that exceptional work.
This volume is superlative. If you enjoy World War Two history you CANNOT skip this volume, in particular!

34 sur 35 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan
  • 03/09/2010

Excellent history

Well written, well narrated. Most WWII histories dwell on the military aspect, this comes from the other side defining (as well as is possible with such a subject) the thought processes and actions that led to the horrors of the war. The author tells a good story, entertaining, as well as informative while weaving in first person accounts to reinforce his narrative. A long book but you'll be sorry when it ends.

21 sur 22 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike From Mesa
  • 19/10/2010

Simply wonderful

The first thing to say about this entire series is that all 3 books form a wonderful history of the Third Reich. It also seems important to mention that this volume is a history of the Third Reich during the war, not the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Wehrmacht, so there is only limited coverage of the actual battles.

Rather this book concerns itself mostly with government policy concerning those living inside Germany itself and the occupied territories. It is very detailed and I found some sections on the extermination camps very emotionally painful to get through. The book also does not cover some areas that I would like to have heard about. For example, how were Allied soldiers who were minorities treated in prison camps? Did the Wehrmacht follow the Geneva Convention rules or not? What was the relationship between the Wehrmacht and the SS? Since the book is about government policy these areas were not covered in any detail.

Regardless this book, as well as the preceding two volumes, form an invaluable history and should be required reading for anyone who wants to know about the Second World War in Europe. I also agree with another reviewer who suggested that these books, along with Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, should both be read since they are complimentary. Highly recommended.

17 sur 18 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Doc
  • 28/03/2012

Just do it.

This review is for the entire series. My contribution to the pile of reviews starts with the observation that the work cannot be compared to any other book about WWII or, really, any other history. I'm tolerably well read in the area, and this set of books is unique.

At the outset, I found the narrator troublesome. But, just as I have found on long walks, as I progressed, I realized that his delivery fit the material. Nothing hurried, nothing emotional, nothing dramatic. If you've been to the Viet Nam memorial in DC, you'll know what I mean. It isn't the individual names, but the total list; it isn't the granduer of the monument, it is the monumental display of horror. You, too, will get over it and then take comfort in the methodical recitation of what happened to all the unwanted, particularly the Jewish people.

Some of the reviews complained about the relatively short shrift given to military history and some technological flaws. There are excellent military histories that cover this ground; readers of this book only need that material for contextual reference. For instance, the history of the period we're just passing through isn't about the individual money scams, the individual mortgages and speculations or the indivdual stories of growing disparities in income and assets; rather, it is about the how these individual events came about to overwhelm the financial system as a whole. So it is with Nazi Germany.

For as long as this book is around, it will be difficult for people to deny the Holocaust and it will be difficult to repeat what Hitler and his followers were able to do. Just read it.

15 sur 16 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 15/11/2013

Best of the Series

What do you say about a book as finely researched, as meticulously executed, as solidly paced, as informative and horrifying and shocking as the Third Reich at War? It is a masterpiece and all I can say to Richard J. Evans is, "Thank You." This is an exceptional book that begins with the invasion of Poland and ends with the Nuremburg Trials. You can read it alone or as part of the larger series: The Coming of the Third Reich and the Third Reich in Power. It is a fantastic series and this book is its pinnacle.

It is not a history of WWII, as that has been done many times. Instead, this is a story of the Third Reich, their leadership at home, their policies, and their wartime strategies. There is, of course, military history here and there is a history of the Holocaust. Both of these sections are told in finite and powerful detail. But this is also the story of Germany and its fall into absolute ruin.

Read these books, they are researched, written, paced, and read with perfection.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zaubermond
  • 10/11/2012

Finishing the trilogy

Personally, I was more interested in the time periods covered in the first two volumes than I am in the war period, but I found "The Third Reich At War" to be as well-written, meaningful, and interesting as the previous books. Once again, I am grateful for Evans' resourceful use of primary research materials. I enjoy his writing style and way of presenting a complicated series of events. I found the entire series to be profoundly depressing, but how could it be otherwise considering the content? Still, I feel Evans dealt with the subjects in a fair, even-handed way, without resorting to hyperbole or underplaying the horror.

Sean Pratt's narration got on my last nerve this time. I could barely tolerate him in the first two volumes. Anyone less suited to pronouncing the German language, I cannot imagine unless it's Betty Boop. He cannot manage even basic German place names. To someone who speaks German, listening to him is like fingernails on a chalkboard. His pacing is atrocious. I will never, no matter how interesting the book might be, listen to anything he reads again. But I have no regrets. The trilogy was fantastic and I plan to get copies in hardcover.

14 sur 17 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • alex
  • 01/11/2010

The Third Reich at War...fine work!

This series (please consider the other "Third Reich" titles) is positively perfect for the audiobook format. Richly detailed yet very well paced. From the origins of the Nazi's political power through their ascendancy to their final flameout, Richard Evans must be commended for the polish of this excellent work. Sean Pratt's narration is flawless. Five Stars!

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28/09/2010

Great history well spoken but...

I cannot understand why a history of this quality would have such affectations both from the writer and the narrator. The author in his preface says he's going to Anglicize certain German words for ease of understanding. Mein Kampf becomes "my struggle" and Der Fuehrer becomes "the leader". These two German terms are so well known that it's hard to listen to their being spoken this way. "The leader" is often confusing. Which leader are we talking about now?

The narrator has done a great job with German and other language terms. But there are glaring mistakes. For example the Reichstag is not pronounced as tag as in license tag but as tahg with a soft g, almost a ch sound. Other such gaffs should have been caught in the editing.

All this makes for a feeling of amateurishness, marring an otherwise superb history.

All three volumes are topical and sequential but not a narrative history with in depth treatments of many important topics like the origins of racial policy and the economics of the Reich. How did Hitler pay for rearmament? It's easy engrossing listening that explains a great deal about how a well educated population could be psychically captured by a lunatic. It's a lesson that will endure.

12 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy Perow
  • 16/06/2016

Outstanding History

Where does The Third Reich at War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Third Reich at War rates at the top of my audiobook list. Richard Evans brings the Third Reich to life as clearly as if it were drawn from today's news. I've listened to it twice through now and will probably give it a third go. I've been reading WWII history for 50 years (yes, really) and this is one of the best I've read.

Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

I've seen other reviewers slam Sean Pratt's narration. He does have odd pauses, but I got used to them and found they helped me absorb the words. This isn't fiction, and shouldn't be read as such. I'm actually looking for more that he's narrated.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

At 30 hours + this is a little more than I'd even try in five or six sittings. The whole series, though, including Coming of the Third Reich and Third Reich in Power, combined with this volume, make a stunning summary of the era.

Any additional comments?

I've recently re-read Rise and Fall of Third Reich, and Evans' history is on a par with Shirer's classic. Shirer has the immediacy of having been in Germany for part of the period, but Evans has the objectivity that time bestows (at least in theory).

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jon
  • 20/08/2013

Now, the rest of the story...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely. This book does a masterful job describing not only the blow by blow accounts of the war, but also the home front of Nazi Germany. The most interesting aspect was the accounts of life in Germany immediately after the war.

People like me who have an interest in this area of history were brought up believing that the Nazis were a small minority who did not enjoy the support of the German people. Furthermore, the German people had no idea about what was happening in the death camps. This book shatters that myth, and destroys the long professed alibi of the German people that it was all the SS and Nazis who committed atrocities.

The accounts of the Wehrmacht's interaction with the civilian population in Eastern Europe and Russia strips away any pretense that the SS were the only bad guys in the war.

One criticism I have of the book is that the author is a too kind to Soviet Russia, and discounts many atrocities that they committed. Keeping that in mind, it was a good read.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek Grimmell
  • Hutchinson, KS, USA
  • 31/03/2011

Umfassende überblick der Kriegszeit

Many others have written over the war, and each have their strengths and weaknesses. This book gathers a multitude of events, memories, and contemporary writings that depict a cruel and terrible tragedy. Detailed, almost punctillious, this collection of historical events and vignettes confers a clear outline of the crimes of the Third Reich. The author tells the story of the Second World War as a long succession of separate acts taking place on the different levels of German society. He spends relatively less time on Hitler, some time of his immediate coterie of followers, and a great deal of time on all of the ramifications of the war time on German society. There are far too many anecdotes to repeat in a review, but it is worth mentioning how the author somehow unearths and repeats what the popular jokes were in Germany during the different years of the war, and how these indicate the shifting mood of the German populace as the regime began to lose credibility. Evans deserves great credit for gathering together such a long, rich, detailed collection of incidents that so clearly depict a nation in the grip of totalitarian rule.