The Long Night by Steve Wick
William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

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Synopsis

The story of legendary American journalist William L. Shirer and how his first-hand reporting on the rise of the Nazis and on World War II brought the devastation alive for millions of Americans

When William L. Shirer started up the Berlin bureau of Edward R. Murrow’s CBS News in the 1930s, he quickly became the most trusted reporter in all of Europe. Shirer hit the streets to talk to both the everyman and the disenfranchised, yet he gained the trust of the Nazi elite and through these contacts obtained a unique perspective of the party’s rise to power.

Unlike some of his esteemed colleagues, he did not fall for Nazi propaganda and warned early of the consequences if the Third Reich was not stopped. When the Germans swept into Austria in 1938 Shirer was the only American reporter in Vienna, and he broadcast an eyewitness account of the annexation. In 1940 he was embedded with the invading German army as it stormed into France and occupied Paris. The Nazis insisted that the armistice be reported through their channels, yet Shirer managed to circumvent the German censors and again provided the only live eyewitness account. His notoriety grew inside the Gestapo, who began to build a charge of espionage against him. His life at risk, Shirer had to escape from Berlin early in the war. When he returned in 1946 to cover the Nuremberg trials, Shirer had seen the full arc of the Nazi menace. It was that experience that inspired him to write The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich—the magisterial, definitive history of the most brutal ten years the modern world had known—which has sold millions of copies and has become a classic.

Drawing on never-before-seen journals and letters from Shirer’s time in Germany, award-winning reporter Steve Wick brings to life the maverick journalist as he watched history unfold and first shared it with the world.


 

About Steve Wick

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Steve Wick is a senior editor at Newsday and the author of Bad Company: Drugs, Hollywood and the Cotton Club Murder, among others. He has been a journalist for 30 years and has won dozens of writing and reporting awards, including sharing in two Pulitzer Prizes for local reporting.
 
Published August 2, 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 287 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Long Night

Kirkus Reviews

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In a trenchant discussion of journalism, biography and ethics, Newsday senior editor Wick (Bad Company: Drugs, Hollywood and the Cotton Club Murder, 1990, etc.) examines the life of William Shirer (1904–1993), American war correspondent and author of the landmark book The Rise and Fall of the Thi...

May 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

The New York Times

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Shirer and ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,’ ” an “eyewitness to history” and “a keeper of the record and a sounder of alarms.” Shirer became all three, though this book suggests that the alarms he sounded while reporting from the Berlin bureau of CBS News at the start of World War II (his ...

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

Publishers Weekly

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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 19...

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

BC Books

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The Long Night examines the experiences of the journalist that gave rise to the most popular work on the history of Nazi Germany.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

BC Books

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Although it was his coverage of Nazi Germany that made Shirer famous, he actually set off for Europe in 1925 without a job.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

BC Books

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In addition to detailing Shirer's journey as a European correspondent, The Long Night presents some of the conflicts that confronted Shirer and other reporters as the Nazis increased their power.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

The Wall Street Journal

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Barton Swaim reviews Steve Wick's "The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

| Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

The Wall Street Journal

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Shirer witnessed Parisians' bewildered outrage when, in June 1940, news spread that Marshal Petain himself would ask the Germans for an armistice, and Shirer broadcast live from just outside the famous railroad car in Compiègne where, a few days later, the French signed away their country.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

Tampa Bay Times

abandoned") and then with Hitler's panzer divisions as they zipped through the towns and villages of Holland and Belgium toward France, unimpeded by the Allies, in the spring of 1940: "Real devastation .

Aug 27 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

Seattle PI

In addition to detailing Shirer's journey as a European correspondent, The Long Night presents some of the conflicts that confronted Shirer and other reporters as the Nazis increased their power.

Aug 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

AARP

While Larson noncommittally conveys the Dodds’ perceptions of Hanfstaengl as surprisingly charming, Wick gives us an opposing view: Shirer, he reports, heard from fellow journalists that the Nazi press officer was “a loudmouth, a buffoon, and a toady.” Shirer arrived in Berlin on Au...

Oct 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Long Night: William L. Sh...

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