William L. Shirer has had a distinguished career as foreign correspondent, news commentator, and historian of the contemporary world. He reported from Berlin for the Universal News Service and for CBS on the rise of the Nazis and he covered their all as a war correspondent. Out of these reports grew his best-sellers "Berlin Diary" and "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," which has sold more copies for the Book-of-the-Month Club than any other book in the club's history.
Shirer is the author of many other best-selling books, including "The Collapse of the Third Republic" and an autobiography, "Twentieth Century Journey: A Memoir of a Life and the Times," composed of three volumes -- "The Start: 1904-1930, The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940," and "A Native's Return: 1945-1988." He is at work on a new book about the last two weeks of Tolstoy's life.