Only from about page 50 does the narrative broaden out, when we encounter the conditions in postwar Bavaria that allowed Hitler to emerge onto the political scene.
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published inbarely a generation after the end of the war. The controversy soon blew over and the cover shipped with the symbol.
Evansauthor of The Third Reich Trilogy —conceded that Rise and Fall is a "readable general history of Nazi Germany" and that "there are good reasons for [its] success. Shirer captured something else, both massive and elusive, within the four corners of a book: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
The why of it isn't so simple. It is a problem we can never be reminded of enough, and for this we will always owe William Shirer a debt of gratitude.
What distinguishes his book is its insistence that Hitler and his exterminationist drive were a distillation of the Reich, a quintessence brewed from the darkest elements of German history, an entire culture. This record included the testimony of Nazi leaders and of concentration camp inmates, the diaries of officials, transcripts of secret conferences, army orders, private letters—all the vast paperwork behind Hitler's drive to conquer the world.
His account was also Hitler-centric and ignored the wider factors—political, economic, and cultural—that played a crucial part in the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.