On June 17, 1940 William L. Shirer stood in the streets of Paris and watched the unending flow of gray German uniforms along its boulevards. In just six lovely weeks in the spring and summer of 1940 a single battle brought down in total military defeat one of the world's oldest, greatest, and most civilized powers—the second mightiest empire on earth and the possessor of one of the finest military machines ever assembled. How did it happen? After nearly a decade of research in the massive archives left from World War II and after hundreds of conversations with the Third Republic’s leaders, generals, diplomats, and ordinary citizens, Shirer presents the definitive answer in his stunning re-creation of why and how France fell before Hitler's armies in 1940. His book is also a devastating examination of the confusion, corruption, and cynicism that drained the strength and toughness of a democracy which Thomas Jefferson once called "every man's second country." This book complements and completes the dramatic story of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and continues to rank as one of the most important works of history of our time.
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This is a companion effort to Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960), also voluminous but very readable, reflecting once again both Shirer's own experience and an-enormous mass of historical material well digested and assimilated.May 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Collapse of the Third Rep...
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