Five Days That Shocked the World by Nicholas Best
Eyewitness Accounts from Europe at the End of World War II

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



In the momentous days from April 28 to May 2, 1945, the world witnessed the death of two Fascist dictators and the fall of Berlin. Mussolini's capture and execution by Italian partisans, the suicide of Adolf Hitler, and the fall of the German capital signaled the end of the four-year war in the European Theater. In Five Days That Shocked the World, Nicholas Best thrills readers with the first-person accounts of those who lived through this dramatic time.

In this valuable work of history, the author's special achievement is weaving together the reports of famous and soon-to-be-famous individuals who experienced the war up close. We follow a young Walter Cronkite as he parachutes into Holland with a Canadian troop; photographer Lee Miller capturing the evidence of Nazi atrocities; the future Pope Benedict returning home and hoping not to get caught and shot after deserting his infantry unit; Audrey Hepburn no longer having to fear conscription into a Wehrmacht brothel; and even an SS doctor's descriptions of a decadent sex orgy in Hitler's bunker.

In skillfully synthesizing these personal narratives, Best creates a compelling chronicle of the five earth-shaking days when Fascism lost it death grip on Europe. With this vivid and fast-paced narrative, the author reaffirms his reputation as an expert on the final days of great wars.


About Nicholas Best

See more books from this Author
NICHOLAS BEST grew up in Kenya and was educated there, in England, and at Trinity College, Dublin. He served in the Grenadier Guards and worked as a journalist in London. He was the Financial Times fiction critic for ten years and is the author of The Greatest Day in History, a narrative on the end of World War I.
Published January 17, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 384 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Five Days That Shocked the World

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Dramatic, sordid recap of the most horrendous closing moments of World War II, which “began with the murder of Mussolini and ended with the news that Hitler had killed himself at his bunker in Berlin.” There is a sensational element to this work by British journalist Best (The Greatest Day in H...

Jan 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Five Days That Shocked the Wo...

City Book Review

Five Days That Shocked the World covers April 28, 1945 to May 2, 1945 – the days leading up Germany’s surrender.

May 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Five Days That Shocked the Wo...


He had been paralyzed for two weeks, and his doctors expected his imminent death, but the man who would be Bill Clinton’s opponent in a presidential election 51 years later had just managed to wriggle his toes.

Feb 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Five Days That Shocked the Wo...

BBC History Magazine

Many of the accounts and the events that they describe will be well known to readers, but there are also a few surprises to leaven the traditional fare, such as the story of Operation Manna – the Allied airdrops of food to the Dutch – or the bloody liberation of Dachau.

| Read Full Review of Five Days That Shocked the Wo...

Reader Rating for Five Days That Shocked the World

An aggregated and normalized score based on 58 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review