The Long Night: William L. Shirer and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Steve Wick. Palgrave Macmillan, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-230-62318-7
The accomplishments of acclaimed American journalist William Shirer are celebrated in Wick's latest book, which faithfully tracks the ambitious writer's Midwest origins to his Chicago Tribune reporting apprenticeship and landing a plum job as the workhorse of Edward Murrow's CBS News bureau in 1933 Berlin. Wick, a Pulitzer-winning staffer at Newsday, uses unpublished letters and journals, showing the dogged Shirer, uneasy in the new Germany, wary of the riseĀ of the National Socialists with their swastikas, heated rhetoric, rigid social codes, and treatment of Jews. Shirer, realizing that he was witnessing a historic event in the corruption of a nation by Hitler and his cronies, risked the ire of Nazi officials watching for a wrong move. He "ask[ed] the wrong question, [wrote] the wrong story, [spoke] to the wrong people," even if that meant risking deportation. After his hasty exit in 1940 (both personally and professionally depleted), Shirer collected his reportage, captured Third Reich documents, and Nuremburg trial testimony to form The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which won the 1961 National Book Award. Wick (Bad Company: Drugs, Hollywood and the Cotton Club Murder) offers an absorbing and very detailed account, the perfect companion piece to Shirer's masterwork. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-230-33849-4
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-0-230-34161-6
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