Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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This book is highly over rated.
am 22. Juli 1999
Shirer's book has enjoyed a wide popularity and as the other reviews in this section attest, it continues to find an enthusiastic audience. As a well documented eye witness account, it has merit. As a serious attempt at providing a useful history of the Third Reich it has many flaws. The book is poorly written notwithstanding comments to the contrary. It is full of incorrect grammar not least of which is an eccentric misuse of puncutation that persistently obfuscates the author's meaning. Shirer is overly concerned with pendantic details related to translation issues, which have no usefulness to the general reader. The book lacks balance. The event of paramount significance for the Nazis was, of course, the holocaust. Shirer deals with the holocaust in a scant few pages, while following that with a long discourse on the failed attempt to kill Hitler in July 1944. On balance the holocaust far outweighs the significance of the failed and futile effort to rid the world of Hitler through assassination, which would simply have made him a martyr to his followers. Shirer's view of the Nazi leaders is quite clouded. Perhaps this is an unfair crticism for someone who lived in Germany and saw it first hand, but his antipathy really clouds his judgement. His disparagement of the capabilities of Joseph Goerbels, for example, are laughable. For any history to have usefulness, it must appeal to it's intended audience. On that level, The Rise and Fall...is a brilliant success. To be truly useful, however, it must help the reader to understand the what, why and how of events. Shirer did not understand what he witnessed. The readers of his book, who rely only on this resource for their understanding, will remain as confused and puzzeled as Shirer himself.