As an international war correspondent and radio commentator, William L. Shirer didn’t just research the fall of France. He was there. In just six weeks, he watched the Third Reich topple one of the world’s oldest military powers—and institute a rule of terror and paranoia. Based on in-person conversation with the leaders, diplomats, generals, and ordinary citizens who both shaped the events of this time and lived through them on a daily basis, Shirer shapes a compelling account of historical events—without losing sight of the personal experience.
From the heroic efforts of the Freedom Fighters to the tactical military misjudgments that caused the fall and the daily realities of life for French citizens under Nazi rule, this fascinating and exhaustively documented account from one of the 20th Century’s most important historians.
Journalist and author William Shirer was a witness to many of the pivotal events leading up to World War II. In the second of a three-volume series, Shirer tells the story of his own eventful life, detailing the most notable events of his career as a journalist stationed in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. Shirer was there while Hitler celebrated his new domination of Germany, unleashed the Blitzkrieg on Poland, and began the world conflict that would come to be known as World War II. This remarkable account tells the story of an American reporter caught in a maelstrom of war and conflict, desperately trying to warn Europe and the US about the dangers to come.
This memoir gives readers a chance to relive one of the most turbulent periods in 20th century history-painting a stunningly intimate portrait of a dangerous decade.
A radio broadcaster and journalist for Edward R. Murrow at CBS, William Shirer was new to the world of broadcast journalism when he began keeping a diary while in Europe during the 1930s. It was in 1940, still a virtual unknown, that Shirer wondered whether his reminiscences of the collapse of the world around Nazi Germany could be of any interest or value as a book.
Shirer’s Berlin Diary, which is considered the first full record of what was happening in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich, first appeared in 1941. The book was an instant success. But how did Shirer get such a valuable firsthand account? He had anonymous sources willing to speak with him, provided their identity remained protected and disguised so as to avoid retaliation from the Gestapo. Shirer recorded his and others’ eyewitness views to the horror that Hitler was inflicting on his people in his effort to conquer Europe. Shirer continued his job as a foreign correspondent and radio reporter for CBS until Nazi press censors made it virtually impossible for him to do his job with any real accuracy. He left Europe, taking with him the invaluable, unforgettable (and horrific) contents of his Berlin Diary.
Berlin Diary brings the reader as close as any reporter has ever been to Hitler and the rise of the Third Reich. Shirer’s honest, lucid and passionate reporting of the brutality with which Hitler came to power and the immediate reactions of those who witnessed these events is for all time.