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Sintesi dell'editore

By the acclaimed journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, this day-by-day eyewitness account of the momentous events leading up to World War II in Europe is the private, personal, utterly revealing journal of a great foreign correspondent.

CBS radio broadcaster William L. Shirer was virtually unknown in 1940 when he decided there might be a book in the diary he had kept in Europe during the 1930s—specifically those sections dealing with the collapse of the European democracies and the rise of Nazi Germany.

Shirer was the only Western correspondent in Vienna on March 11, 1938, when the German troops marched in and took over Austria, and he alone reported the surrender by France to Germany on June 22, 1940, even before the Germans reported it. The whole time, Shirer kept a record of events, many of which could not be publicly reported because of censorship by the Germans. In December 1940, Shirer learned that the Germans were building a case against him for espionage, an offense punishable by death. Fortunately, Shirer escaped and was able to take most of his diary with him.

Berlin Diary first appeared in 1941, and the timing was perfect. The energy, the passion, and the electricity in it were palpable. The book was an instant success, and it became the frame of reference against which thoughtful Americans judged the rush of events in Europe. It exactly matched journalist to event: the right reporter in the right place at the right time. It stood, and still stands, as so few books have ever done, a pure act of journalistic witness.

©1941 William L. Shirer (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

“The most complete news report yet to come out of wartime Germany.” (Time)

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  • Robert
  • 26 02 2014

The Real Rise and Fall

If you found "Rise and Fall" to be a gripping book, as I did, then I think you will find "Berlin Diaries" to be a wonderful listen. Here you learn all the thoughts of a witness to an amazing place and time. Particularly striking is the insanity of what Shirer is and is not allowed to report. The world was turned upside-down and Shirer tells you about it as if you were having a drink at the press club. Wonderful insights into easy things that the British might have done better... for example, bombing doesn't need to be massive to be effective, Shirer explains that even small bombings during the night in Berlin have the effect of keeping everyone awake and dramatically affecting war production, not to mention jangling nerves. You see Shirer becoming more and more cynical as the war begins to go badly and his access to real news vs. propaganda is limited. The book leaves you wanting to learn a lot more about his wife Tess who seems like a very interesting character in her own right. Shirer explains so clearly successes of the Third Reich early in the war; you understand what it means to build a war machine, to consider all the technical details, to keep all your aircraft hidden a short distance from the airfields so that the bombing of an airfield produces limited damage. Shirer explains Hitler's misperception of British attitudes. I found the book truly fascinating.

10 su 10 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Jeffrey
  • 07 12 2011

Unfolding of war in real time

This diary of William Shirer, published in 1941, provides an unfolding of Europe's plunge into war from 1934-1941 by an American reporter who recorded these events as they happened while he was there during this period. Shirer proved insightful as to what the Nazi's were up to as France and Britain failed to stand up to Hitler's string of demands for more of Europe's land. The narration is excellent as he reads Shirer's diary entries and you feel like you are back there in time listening to the events unfold as Shirer describes them.

9 su 9 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17 09 2012

Compelling listening

What did you love best about Berlin Diary?

the book gives the reader the opportunity to see events unfold as per the generation that lived through the second world war. It offers a time travellers view of history as it unfolds

What other book might you compare Berlin Diary to and why?

Possibly on a par with :Downfall but has more impact in its revealing of the key Nazi protagonists

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

Well read and presented

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

I tried to listen in one sitting but the reader need to spread it over a few sittings to appreciate the content

Any additional comments?

The book has chilling impact in the light of hindsight

4 su 4 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • Anniebligh
  • 31 07 2011

Rivetting listening experience

At first I lamented Grover Gardner was not the reader, having found Mr Gardner's reading of 'The Rise and Fall...' excellent. And initially Tom Weiner's pace was too fast for my idea of a 'Journal' reading, my ear adjusted and the content became dominant. OK I am not an historian and I did not study modern history at school. As I listen now, I am having to adjust my understanding of so much that was going on in Europe prior to the official start of WW11. Being a journal the immediacy of events as they unfolded is giving me a whole new picture. I have seen the movies, read the fiction and seen some of the propaganda films released by The Allies, Take on that this is a journal, written as events were being played out and the reflections of William L. Shirer are truly an eye and heart opener. One feels the frustrations and disbelief that leaders at the time behaved as they did.
I am still listening, and so impressed by this 'Berlin Diary" that I can only highly recommend this to any with an interest in World War11, to learn how so important our Journalists are, when free of censorship from government and employer.

14 su 16 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • Tyler
  • 07 04 2013

I loved it!

So I am on my second go around of this audio book. I loved it, very detailed, interesting, and greatly narrated. I recommend it for anyone who might be interested in a little behind the scenes action of 20th century Europe.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • James A K Fletcher
  • 03 12 2012

An amazing insight into life under the Nazi regime

Where does Berlin Diary rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I am a post-graduate history student and a World War II fanatic. This is in my top 5 audiobooks.

What did you like best about this story?

It is a first-hand account of living under the Nazis.

Have you listened to any of Tom Weiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Tom Weiner is fabulous, although he pronounces "short-lived" as if it rhymes with "short-dived".

Any additional comments?

A fabulous audiobook.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Peter
  • 17 09 2012

Personal and personable account of the nazi rise.

What did you love best about Berlin Diary?

Berlin diary presented a firsthand experiential account of the rise and conquests of Nazi Germany by Shirer, who was actually there (in Berlin and various other relevant locations) at the time. Presented in diary form, the story unfolded as events happened and became known to Shirer, rather than a narrative by one who already "knew how it would end".

What did you like best about this story?

The "voice" of Shirer, the personable way he wrote, the little extras of almost irrelevant diary writings.

What three words best describe Tom Weiner’s voice?

Fast. American. Warm.

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

No. The diary form made it approachable over a period of a couple of weeks.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • KMV
  • 21 05 2014

Reads like a thriller!

If you could sum up Berlin Diary in three words, what would they be?

RIVETING, RIVETING, RIVETING.

What other book might you compare Berlin Diary to and why?

"All the President's Men." Although it is non-fiction it reads like a mystery thriller because it's fast paced, the characters are real and as hard as it is to believe that our government and its leader(s) could be so deceitful and cunning, it really happened.

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

I loved his voice, it is easy to listen to and he doesn't overact; however, you can tell by his inflections that he is relaying the author's mood.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A front row seat to history.

Any additional comments?

I have read a lot about the Nazi regime and it's march to total war; however, William Shirer's writing brings it to life. I have always wanted to read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" but the length of the book put me off because it seems I never have enough time to tackle it. After listening to "Berlin Diary" I decided I had to listen to "Rise and Fall.." to hear the complete story. I am now listening to it and I'm totally fascinated. My husband and I just took a round trip by car that took a total of 10 hours and we never said much to each other because we were immersed in the story. "Berlin Diary" is a great way to segue into the full story and what a great history lesson.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Michael
  • 02 02 2014

Great book, not the right medium.

Shirer is great. I really enjoyed his massive tome on the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and I really enjoyed this, too. Unfortunately, I really wished I had the text for this one. I really liked the story, but a diary like this exists in the twilight world between narrative and reference, and getting it from Audible only really allows you to get the narrative, because it's value as a reference is drastically diminished by the fact that you can't flip through it or search the text. I suppose I could spend a week going through and placing bookmarks and abstracts at the beginning of each entry, but that isn't going to happen soon. So as a story, I highly recommended it, but as an audiobook I would say that you really need to consider what you want it for, because the medium's inherent limitations may get in the way.

BTW, I want to make it clear that I have no problem with the narrator. I gave it low marks on performance, but that is only because it seemed like the best category under which to reflect my ambivalence.

6 su 8 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • DanBudda
  • 12 11 2015

Powerful. Wonderful. Timeless.

If you have a slight working knowledge of the Nazi rise to power, this is an amazing document. And since it's a diary being read, it's perfect in Audible form. Don't miss this!! If you're not quite up to snuff on your European Nazi history, listen anyway. That's what the pause button and Wikipedia is for! This reading reminds me of the 9/11 air traffic control tapes, available on YouTube. History in real time. Frightening and maddening. Perfect narrator and narration.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

Ordina per:
  • Totali
  • Mark
  • 23 11 2011

Stunning and beautifully read

I had read bits of the book years ago but I had forgotten how compelling it was. Shirer's day-by-day picture of life under the Nazis is uncannily accurate with the hindsight of history. He wrote beautifully although his growing loathing of the Nazis makes the later parts of the book more tirade than report -- loathing the Nazis was, of course, justified but I wish Shirer had tried harder to understand why otherwise-rational Germans didn't share his hatred. He often resorts to sweeping stereotypes about "the German character" and he fails to pursue insights on the Nazi use of class resentment and modern media. Still, worth every minute of listening and the reading adds extra resonance to every sentence.

4 su 4 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Ms
  • 15 11 2013

Excellent listen

What made the experience of listening to Berlin Diary the most enjoyable?

I had the book on my reading wish list, and when I saw it was available on audible I took a chance. It was wonderful, and as I do most of my listening on the bus to and from work, the 'bite sized' chunks that a diary affords, made it perfect for my commute.

What did you like best about this story?

Historically it is fascinating to hear what someone living in Berlin at the time thought - I had read that it didn't really address the issue of anti-semitism and genocide; but I felt that it did. Maybe not to the detail that we now know, but it was made clear that journalists were not being given all the information they required.

Have you listened to any of Tom Weiner’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any of Tom Weiner's other performances but I most certainly will now.

Any additional comments?

I only wish that William Shriver had stayed longer in Berlin - although he of course didn't want to!

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
  • Richard
  • 29 12 2011

Unique and fascinating

This story is best listen to with a good Knowledge of the events. As a diary the author of course does not know what will happen next so some of the accounts are based purely on his own interpretation of the situation and was some times incorrect. This is not a criticism as it actually shows how isolated the German population where from events outside there own country much like North Korea today. Every book written about World War 2 is started by an author who knows the outcome so this is a unique account in every way. Don’t expect a traditional structure to this book and you'll be fine. There is a lot of everyday detail in this account that does not appear in the Rise and Fall. A great listen.

5 su 6 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • ReadingWild
  • 26 09 2013

Fascinating, human and insightful

If you could sum up Berlin Diary in three words, what would they be?

A MUST READ

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The author is actually shoved aside by Hitler who has a “feminine, dainty walk”

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

yes

Any additional comments?

Despite its title the first third of this book deals with Prague and the shabby sellout of Czechoslovakia by Europe and Britain. A fascinating human focused insight into terrible times-

Geneva March 14th - “Slovakia has declared its independence, there goes the remains of Czechoslovakia, I should go to Prague but I haven’t the heart, am I growing to softhearted to sentimental to be a good reporter? I don’t mind the killings the bloodshed…but Prague, I can’t face it.”

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
  • Francis
  • 04 11 2012

Great insight into 1930s/40s Germany

Well worth listening to for anyone interested in the second world war. I liked the fact that it was written at the time, so without the benefit of hindsight - and William Shirer got a lot of things right about how countries would fall to the Nazis. He also showed how the German tactics were the same, country by country, which I hadn't known before.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
  • Brian
  • 06 09 2011

Exhilarating and informative

An amazing journey through a time we rarely hear about. A completely new perspective on the war and the litany of errors made before it even started.

Excellent content and well read.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

  • Totali
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  • C. Hamilton-welsh
  • 02 06 2017

Such a great book

Since purchasing, I have played this book many times at night or when pottering around the house. It is really interesting and the reader brings you into the story in a subtle and calm manner that really works for me. I found this book after hearing Shirers book on the Third Reich. The writing is superb again. If you like real history described by someone who lived through it don't miss out on this book.

  • Totali
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  • Mr. Magnus H. Smith
  • 03 04 2017

firsthand account as it happened

captures perfectly the uncertainty of the future as the events of the second world war unfolds.

  • Totali
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  • Dan Rose
  • 06 02 2017

An Insight into Reporting from war-time Berlin

This is an excellent book. it gives a great insight of the difficulties of reporting from Germany and in particularly Berlin. in the run up and the early part of the war. The tight-rope of operating under ever-increasing government interference is clearly shown. The challenges of delivering accurate in-partial news and the lengths journalists went to to do it.

it would be interesting to know if there is a British journalists diary from Germany in the same period or a German journalist reporting from London just prior to the out-break of war.

  • Totali
  • Interpretazione
  • Storia
  • Mr. Acapella
  • 29 09 2014

First hand history

Shirer gives a unique and compelling account of his experience of Germany before and during the start of WW2. A justly famous book and very well read.