• The Third Reich in Power

  • By: Richard J. Evans
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 31 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive account of Germany's malign transformation under Hitler's total rule and the implacable march to war. This magnificent second volume of Richard J. Evans's three-volume history of Nazi Germany was hailed by Benjamin Schwartz of The Atlantic Monthly as "the definitive English-language account... gripping and precise." It chronicles the incredible story of Germany's radical reshaping under Nazi rule. As those who were deemed unworthy to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms, Hitler's drive to prepare Germany for the war that he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939.

The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.

©2006 Richard J. Evans (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

“[Evans’s] three-volume history... is shaping up to be a masterpiece. Fluidly narrated, tightly organized and comprehensive." (William Grimes, The New York Times)

What listeners say about The Third Reich in Power

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good but annoying

I agree with the other reviewer regarding the reader. This book needs a second edition update - not read by Sean Pratt. If you can get past the herky-jerky narration then it's worthwhile but I'm off to my local Library for the other two volumes.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book, annoying narrator

This is a thorough and well-organized history of post Weimar Republic Germany before the actual outbreak of war. My only gripe would be the narrator, who often pauses mid-sentence (not at a comma) and reminds one of a high school student. He mispronounces even some common words. To top it off, he narrates with a sarcastic tone which makes his mediocre reading ability even more annoying. BTW, you won't notice these things in your "sample listening." It will take you about an hour of listening for him to really begin getting on your nerves.

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great historical work, well-narrated

I am working my way through listening to the whole Evans' trilogy. It is good historical scholarship and a well-written narrative history of the Third Reich. As an audio-book, the narrator is generally pretty good - I have no problems listening to his narration and I have found the first two volumes (yet to listen to the third) excellent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A catalog of horrors

The second book in Richard Evans' trilogy of Nazi Germany.

As if the horrors detailed in the first volume were not enough, Mr Evans details the gradual erosion of the individual rights of all Germans and the complete indifference showed by most to that loss of freedom and especially to the loss of liberty and dignity of the persecuted minorities. An outstanding book that should be read by all.

As with the first volume, my only complaint is the flat and uninspired reading of Sean Pratt. But even that is not enough to cause this wonderful book to lose a star. As after reading the first volume, I will purchase the next as soon as I can gather the courage to listen to another, more brutal, list of horrors.

One can only wonder what those responsible for not stopping the Nazis when they had the power told themselves after the fact. Did Chamberlain ever have to deal with what he helped create? Or Baldwin? Or others in the British and French governments who could have stopped the Nazi horror in its cradle? Did those people who continually ignored Churchill's warnings ever have to face up to what they helped create?

18 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Introduction

Evan's Third Reich Trilogy is essentially a primer for the uninformed, as he himself admits in the prologue to The Coming of the Third Reich. The series is a topical birds-eye view, addressing various aspects of life, politics, and culture under the Third Reich. This is both the book's greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Those interested in narrative history will probably find Evan's approach of jumping from topic to topic frustrating (although the same approach would serve him well in his later survey of 19th-century European history for Penguin). Those that have proceeded beyond the Third Reich trilogy to reading Kershaw, Wachsmann, Longerich, etc. will likewise find the generalizations somewhat frustrating, although this had more to do with the nature of historical surveys than any deliberate mischaracterizations on Evan's part. Simple put, if you want an introduction to life in and under the Third Reich, look no further. If you're already familiar with the topic, you probably won't learn anything new, except perhaps from Evan's fascination with jokes and humour in the Third Reich, which is as insightful as it is delightful.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Gets very bogged down in the details

The first book is worth listening to, especially if you've already read Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." It gives a different view that Shirer's--more detailes in some forms, less detailed in others.

This book ("The Third Reich in Power") is terminally boring, especially in the middle two sections. Listening to hour after hour of the administrative pettiness of the Nazis may be very interesting to a sociologist, but the vast majority of history buffs can probably skip it. The fourth part, getting into the foreign policy during the 30s, finally gets interesting again.


Also, as has been said before, the reader is simply AWFUL. It sounds as if this is the first time he's seen the material, he inserts random pauses, mispronunciations, etc. Just awful.

Still looking forward to the third book.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Leaves me wanting for more

As with the first of this series I found the information to be quite interesting. I have since read Storm of war and No Simple Victory to supplement my knowledge.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

How can it happen?

I selected this book because of being curious how the Nazi's gained power and how such insanity took over. I was not disappointed. This is the first of a trilogy about Nazi Germany written by an English history professor. It's fairly new (2004) and examines many aspects of German politics, society, art, education, science leading up to and post World War I. I knew that the WWI defeat of Germany and the subsequent treatment, followed by the Great Depression were part of what enabled Hitler and his Nazi party to take over. However, Evans also covers general apathy, and how nobody thought this uneducated, unrefined man could take over. Also, others simply went along to avoid being beaten and tortured during the oncoming reign of terror. I immediately got the 2nd volume, and I'm sure the 3rd will follow after that. Very textured book - I kept stopping and looking up various people who were described or quoted.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thorough and Informative

Incredible detailed insight into the people that not only led the government, but the every day impact on every aspect of German society. A great lesson in what to expect from an authoritarian regime founded only on hatred and cruelty masked by alleged patriotism.

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A challenging but rewarding read

I found this second volume in Richard Evans’ “trilogy” very different from the first (“The Coming of the Third Reich), but equally superb. This volume focuses on a mere six and a half years, from Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in early 1933 to the outbreak of war in September 1939, during which Germany underwent a transformation that was mind-boggling in scope, and in horror.

But rather than adopting a chronological approach, Evans addresses nearly every imaginable sector of German life under the peacetime Third Reich in great depth — the economy, politics, arts and culture, religion, etc. — each aspect is covered in incredible and meticulously-researched and referenced detail, with copious examples that drive home the realities of life in the Third Reich and the motivations of its overlords, especially of course, Adolf Hitler.

It was challenging to wade through some of the material, simply by virtue of the mere extensive and detailed account, but worth doing so. I find that this is easier with an audiobook in some ways — my attention flagged in some detailed, nitty-gritty sections, but never for long. This would be more difficult with a printed book, but I did long to consult the notes and photographs that I assume are in the printed volume.

This is outstanding, serious history. I had read William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and other works about this period, but Evans fills in so many gaps and profoundly deepened my understanding of the subject. I’ve been interested in World War II and the events leading up to it since I was very young, but I find this history particularly relevant today with the rise of authoritarianism around the world, again, today — even in my own country. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject. It is not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, but a rewarding one indeed.

I have seen criticism of the narrator in some other reviews, but I found Mr. Pratt’s narration exceptionally clear and easy to follow. “Five stars” all around!

Richard Evans, thank you for writing these monumental books.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip Lawrence
  • 04-04-16

Very thorough account

Detailed background of how the Third Reich built and led Europe to war

Very disappointing narration, mainly put off by the accent and pronunciation of repetitive words and phrases

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • BlueZen99
  • 08-26-20

Good Listen

An informative and very well narrated audio book which I enjoyed. However, Mr Evans can’t help but call Hitler and others silly childish names. Most authors do this about the Nazis. I have bought the trilogy and they are all very good but I do believe that Mr Evans could learn a lot from David Irving who does not get involved in stupid name calling and this allows his books to flow much better in my opinion. In the 1st of the trilogy he suggests Hess was not very bright. The man flew to Scotland for his first parachute jump and landed close to where he wanted. That’s pretty bright in my opinion. He was 47 at the time. Not a young man.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rolf Bonde Bondeson
  • 06-27-11

What you did not know, very interesting

The two first books on Third reich is very interesting with lots of details. A must be for any one interested in why it became very bad in 30'ties and 40'ties.
Narrator is very good, but should take a basic course in german pronounciation. Who have ever heard of Gehring oh dear it is Herman Göring, took me long time to figure out. Could be ok in US or Isles, but not on the continent

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hudds Man
  • 11-25-14

Great Writing, dreadful reading

Would you consider the audio edition of The Third Reich in Power to be better than the print version?

Probably Not

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Sean Pratt?

Somebody who can actually read English. The mid-phrase pauses were very distracting and made some parts very difficult to follow. Mr Pratt seriously needs to learn how to pronounce basic English words such as quay.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Understand why it happened.

Any additional comments?

The whole series provided a great insight into the Third Reich. Generally very well written but the reading was very poor indeed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • slipperychimp
  • 08-11-22

Long AF

It’s almost too long, some really interesting content and some very dull parts. Essentially it covers everything, you get a really good ‘feel’ for what it actually meant to live in the Third Reich, on the other hand there’s too many examples, for instance when discussing literature and authors, there is detailed life stories and details of their multiple publications, one would have been more than enough for me. I suppose your take on the work is going to vary on where your interests are, personally I couldn’t wait for most of it to finish, while finding the parts I was interested in, like the Hitler Youth, and the politics around Poland and Czechoslovakia didn’t get nearly enough coverage, it seems the author makes an effort to avoid mentioning the Party Leaders and their decisions, which is a great shame, the focus is on a ‘bottom up’ approach. While it works, it also leaves me wanting more.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Minimus1992
  • 10-11-21

An excellent book, average narration with poor pronunciation of German names

An excellent book written by a historian of the highest order. Evans painstakingly and superbly outlines all the facets in the development of Hitler’s totalitarian state, and the steady march towards the conflagration of the Second World War.

The performance is generally good but let down by a feature that is all too common in histories of this period - a failure to correctly pronounce German names. Ernst Röhm is the egregious example here, as Pratt incorrectly pronounces it as ‘Rome’.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. T. L. Robinson
  • 07-02-20

Wonderful

A masterpiece from a truly brilliant author. Sir Richard fills the book with amazing statistics covering every aspect of life in the Third Reich. Now onto the last book in this magnificent trilogy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kwarbs M
  • 04-16-20

Brilliant insight

This has to be the most detailed, informative breakdown of the years From hitlers chancellorship to the declaration of war in autumn of 1939. Fair play to the narrator for the hours and hours of narration. Definite future book of reference.
Highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sandra Jackson
  • 08-10-19

Excellent and detailed history of Nazi Germany

Professor Evans gives both a sweeping and in depth picture of Nazi Germany in the years 1933 to 1939. This is an essential book for anyone who is trying to understand the roots of World War 2 and how Hitler established himself as a dictator.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve26
  • 03-30-19

Great and terrifying book.

Evans brings to life the full horror of the nazi regime, even against its own people before it began the war. A valuable book.

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  • Steve Johnson
  • 06-08-21

Masterful scholarship; perfectly narrated.

A true deep dive into the Nazi Party's seizure of power and subsequent path to WW2. Heavily detailed with countless references and facts.

Low on opinion, heavy on truth. The narrator, Sean Pratt, must have been made to read deep, dark detailed history. Perfect timbre, cadence and emotion.