Before Britain and Germany went to war in 1939, Ed Murrow of CBS sent his star reporter William Shirer to report from Berlin on what was really happening in Hitler's Germany. And there Shirer stayed until December 1940, reporting on the war from within the Reich, battling against the censors and revealing to American and British audiences how Hitler, the SS, and his armed forces were conducting the war, and what it meant to live in a Nazi state. All through the campaigns leading to the fall of France, Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain, Shirer provided a unique and dramatic by-line on history as it happened, and now his writings have been gathered together for the first time into a vivid, compelling and urgent narrative, one of the great first-hand documents of the Second World War.
Shirer's (The Nightmare Years, etc.) broadcasts from Berlin during the days leading up to and during the early years of WWII, like Edward R. Murrow's from London, stand as one of the great pillars of broadcast journalism. Now collected for the first time in a single volume, they will also stand as one of the great testimonials from that chaotic period when the sides were being chosen up and no one was exactly sure what would come next. Shirer's broadcasts, written and transmitted under the noses of Nazi censors, are models of eloquence and subterfuge as Shirer's daughter, Inga Shirer Dean, points out in her preface, sarcasm and irony were one of Shirer's few means of getting an unpleasant fact past the censors) and read so well that one can imagine their power transmitted over the radio waves to an unsettled world. Produced for a civilian audience back in the U.S., Shirer's reports present the facts in a clear and direct way that explains the alliances, beliefs and concerns of the first part of the war; his broadcasts about the Hitler-Stalin alliance and his explanation of the Anschluss offer a firsthand look at history in the making with such immediacy that any reader will find it hard to put down. 16 pages photos.