The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by , is the first definitive history of in .
Shirer, an reporter for who also worked for a number of newspapers and , covered for many years, until December 1940, when increasing censorship of his broadcasts made his work impossible. This 1,245-page book, first published, in 1960, by , and still in print, colors its historically accurate information with denunciation of Nazism and tyranny.
The book is based mostly on the captured documents of the , including the diaries of propaganda minister and General . Additional major sources include testimony and evidence from the ; British Foreign Office reports; and the detailed diary of , who was 's son-in-law and the Foreign Minister. Other sources include confidential speeches, conference reports, transcripts of telephone conversations, and Shirer's personal recollections of his six years spent reporting on the Third Reich as a journalist.
When the book was written, only a part of the diaries was known. Other documents have since been discovered, and many documents have become available from since the fall of the .
The book was into a for the network in 1966. It was one of the first programs to be marketed as a .
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich received the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1961.