William L. Shirer

As a boy, William L. Shirer read reports from foreign correspondents in faraway lands. He was captivated and went overseas immediately after college. No doubt his impressive career and professional exploits inspired a new generation of children to dream about becoming swashbuckling reporters. From the 1920s to 1940, Shirer lived in Europe, chronicling the rise of fascism. His ability was matched only by his good fortune. He declined a ride on the Hindenburg and scooped the world when France surrendered to Hitler. Along the way, he met dozens of notable people, from James Thurber to Edward R. Murrow, who became a close friend and colleague.

Steve Wick has just written a new biography of Shirer, making use of boxes of personal notes and journals to provide an insider’s account of the harowing life of an American in enemy territory. The book is titled, The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

Click here to listen to a short clip of one of Shirer’s broadcasts for CBS.