William L. Shirer

William L. Shirer

William Shirer was originally a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and was the first journalist hired by Edward R. Murrow for what would become a team of journalists for CBS radio. Shirer distinguished himself and quickly became known for his broadcasts from Berlin, accounting the rise of the Nazi dictatorship through the first year of World War II. Shirer was the first of "Edward R. Murrow's Boys"--broadcast journalists--who provided news coverage during World War II and afterward. It was Shirer who broadcast the first uncensored eyewitness account of the annexation of Austria. Shirer is best known for his books The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which has seen millions of copies in print and is considered a seminal work on the Nazi party and the war, as well as his book Berlin Diary.

Featured Books By Author

End of a Berlin Diary

"A vivid and unforgettable word picture of the destruction of Nazi Germany." —New York Times
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 on assignment in Europe during the 1930s. It was in 1940, when he was still a virtual unknown, that Shirer wondered whether his eyewitness account 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, appeared in 1941. The book was an instant success—and would not be the last of his expert observations on Europe.
Shirer returned to the European front in 1944 to cover the end of the war. As the smoke cleared, Shirer—who watched the birth of a monster that threatened to engulf the world—now stood witness to the death of the Third Reich. End of a Berlin Diary chronicles this year-long study of Germany after Hitler. Through a combination of Shirer’s lucid, honest reporting, along with passages on the Nuremberg trials, copies of captured Nazi documents, and an eyewitness account of Hitler’s last days, Shirer provides insight into the unrest, the weariness, and the tentative steps world leaders took towards peace.

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A Native's Return, 1945-1988

The third in a three-volume series, this edition chronicles the life of noted journalist, historian, and author William Shirer-a witness to the rise of the Third Reich. Here, Shirer recounts his return to Berlin after its defeat, his shocking firing by CBS News, and his final visit to Paris sixty years after he first lived there as a cub reporter in the 1920s. It paints a bittersweet picture of his final decades, friends lost to old age, and a changing world.

More personal than the first two volumes, this final installment takes an unflinching look at the author's own struggles after World War II-and his vindication after the publication of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, his most acclaimed work. It also provides intimate details of his often-troubled marriage. This book gives readers a surprising and moving account of the last years of a true historian-and an important witness to history.

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Berlin Diary

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.

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Books By
William L. Shirer