Forget your hs textbook on world war ii, and read this.
This is my second time reading the rise and fall of the third reich. the first time i did was during high school, and when i finished the book, it was a monumental achievement, considering the number of pages and the intricateness of the politics involved. it took me a couple of weeks to complete the book largely because i was fascinated with subject proposed by the author. obviously, the rise and fall of the third reich served as a historical lesson of how world war ii came and the coming of nazi germany. prior to reading the book, i had very little knowledge about it, and when i finished the book, i learned so much and did not want to read any more of this subject. mainly, it is because of the disgust i have with the nazis rolling out the murderous machine and the obedience of the german people, allowing it to happen. ten years later, i decided to give the rise and fall of the third reich another go just for the sake of remembering the information again. this time, it took me a few months because the information, especially the politics within the politics, is extremely bogged down. it doesn't mean that the rise and fall of the third reich is a worthless read; it is really a masterpiece of a historical construction. i had a hard time motivating myself to keep going through nearly 1,500 pages, so i took lengthy breaks between reads and had better things to do. i noticed a few things this time around. one, william shirer tends to select and deselect topics of interest to elaborate in details that go for pages. two, he doesn't pay much of attention to the battles of europe, frequently giving terse details to them. three, he lays personal opinions of the key figures involved. in this one, i personally don't care because it is his book and he was there. but i rather shirer to refrain himself from calling hitler a "genius" which he was not. in fact, he was a big-time loser who believed in his ego, leading to death and destruction at all costs. i saw michael jordan to play, but he is not what i call a "genius." the word is applicable to somebody who does something that is beyond the natural ability which nobody has ever done. leonhard euler and michelangelo fit that description. hitler's accomplishments are no different from different rulers of various centuries; it's the same old story: rise to power, rule by ruthless means, and fall before death with no standing monuments. anyway, the rise and fall of the third reich is a great book, and i've enjoyed the lesson tremendously. and i will never, in earnest, care to embark for further information because it's too ghastly and disturbing.