Berlin Diary (Common Reader Classic Bestseller Series)by William L. Shirer
"The subject of this diary," William L. Shirer writes, "is not, except incidentally, its keeper, but this Europe which he watched with increasing fascination and horror plunge madly down the road to Armageddon in the last half of the 1930's." For readers of its own time, Berlin Diary was the first uncensored account of Germany's march toward war, and it/i>… See more details below
"The subject of this diary," William L. Shirer writes, "is not, except incidentally, its keeper, but this Europe which he watched with increasing fascination and horror plunge madly down the road to Armageddon in the last half of the 1930's." For readers of its own time, Berlin Diary was the first uncensored account of Germany's march toward war, and it certainly met a ready audience. Published in July 1941, Shirer's book was an immediate bestseller; by August there were nearly 350,000 copies in print, and Berlin Diary remained at the top of the bestseller list until after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
For American readers today, who may be accustomed to dating the start of World War II to the last month of 1941, Berlin Diary offers an unparalleled education. In Shirer's compelling entries, animated with eyewitness knowledge of contemporary German life as well as a grasp of the larger currents of European politics, we follow the rise of the Third Reich and chart the relentless progress of the coming conflict long before it encompassed the full force of our national interest. We see with unimpeachable evidence the improvisatory, shifting shape of events as they are unfoldingbefore they've become history.
William L. Shirer lived for most of the twentieth century. Born in Chicago in 1904, he died in Boston nearly ninety years later, having witnessed at close range some of the most extraordinary and determinative events of the epoch. His work in Berlin with Edward R. Murrow and the radio team of the Columbia Broadcast System was pioneering; their now legendary wartime broadcasts heralded a new era of international journalism. In addition to Berlin Diary, Shirer's many books include The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Twentieth-Century Journey, and Gandhi: A Memoir.
"One of the most interesting war books that I have read: the first full record of wartime life in Germany."
Malcolm Cowley, The New Republic
"So fresh, so realistic, so (in the best sense) reportorial. . . . compelling reading."
Clifton Fadiman, The New Yorker
"I have yet to find anyone who picked the book up who was able to put it down unfinished."
Saturday Review of Literature
"The book is a great book because, dealing with great events, it is the honest report of a mine of fine intelligence, complete integrity, and a deep but controlled passion for truth, justice, and humane dealing among men and nations."
"One of the most illuminating and readable books that have come out of the war."
"He writes with the power and beauty, with the anger and pity, that come straight from the incandescent movements he lived through. He doesn't deal in venom. He lets the evidence speak, and his stark quotation of the German headlines is one of his most skillful strokes."
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