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In the Garden of Beasts

Love, Terror, and An American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Larson, Erik (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
In the Garden of Beasts
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The bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
Authors: Larson, Erik, 1954-
Title: In the garden of beasts
love, terror, and an American family in Hitler's Berlin
Publisher: New York : Crown, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xiv, 448 p. :,ill., map ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Erik Larson
Notes: Map on end papers
Contents: Das Vorspiel
The man behind the curtain
Into the wood
House hunting in the Third Reich
Lucifer in the garden
How the skeleton arches
Disquiet
Berlin at dusk
When everything changed
The queer bird in exile
"Table talk"
Summary: The bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
ISBN: 9780307408846
0307408841
9780307408853
030740885X
Branch Call Number: 943.086 L3346i 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [423]-434) and index
Subject Headings: Dodd, William Edward, 1869-1940 Diplomats United States Biography Historians United States Biography Germany Social conditions 1933-1945 National socialism Germany
Topical Term: Diplomats
Historians
National socialism
LCCN: 2010045402
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Library Staff

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha.

Join the discussion on Jan. 27, 2015. The bestselling author of "The Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a yea... Read More »

Join us for the discussion on Oct. 2 or 14, 2014. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

The bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in his... Read More »

Documents the efforts of the first American ambassador to Hitler's Germany, William E. Dodd, to acclimate to a residence in an increasingly violent city where he is forced to associate with the Nazis while his beautiful daughter is romantically pursued by Gestapochief Rudolf Diel, as well as othe... Read More »


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A fascinating literary Non Fiction thriller about the shadowy and dark days that preceded World War 2! Very well research! Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks and Natalie Portman.

Jun 19, 2014
  • barkylee15 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I am not sure that I enjoyed the way in which Larson wrote the book. Too much detail at times, (like way too much), and at others not enough about the people that I found most interesting. I also expected more suspense at the end of each chapter (even though I know it's not a novel), but instead it just fell flat in those parts. A very interesting book to discuss though, and overall I liked it. I just wish he would have given us more of the following years that the Dodd family was in Berlin, instead of just 1933-1934.

Jun 06, 2014
  • Eosos rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The story of Ambassador Dodd and his daughter Martha in 1933 Berlin is fascinating to say the least.

The politics of Berlin at the time was very volatile and no country was particularity interested in the reports coming from the ambassadors. Despite the increasingly restrictive laws for Jews and the incease in violence against them and anyone opposing the Hitler regime, no country publicly condemned them. The United States refused to even issue a travel advisory and the tourists didn't get to see the bad undercurrents, always bring home reports of how eveything was wonderful. No one wanted to believe that Germany was rearming.

This was a great personal story of a man not like the other ambassadors, he had no experience and very little money at a time when most ambassadors were independently wealthy. His reports on the happenings in Berlin were largely ignored and even he who lived there, didn't see all that Hitler was doing.
The story of Martha Dodd is more salacious. Her many affairs and initial love of the Hitler regime made her notorious, both then and now. Her eventual disillusionment in Hitler and embracing of communism made for even better gossip and led to her living outside of the US for most of her life.

I really liked this book but while I love the era and politics, this story had just a bit too much of the sensational. Especially when it came to Martha and her life, which makes sense as even by today's standards she would be a gossip columnists dream come true.
It is a good look at history from the point of view of a family who lived it and well worth the read.

really interesting view of 1930s Germany. Frightening portrayal of the 'pulse' as hatred came to a full boil.

Jun 09, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

In 1933, William E. Dodd is selected US ambassador to Nazi Germany. Dodd takes his family with him. At first, his daughter Martha is entranced by the parties, pomp, and young men of the Third Reich. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. With alarm, Dodd watches as Jews are attacked and the press is censored. As the year unfolds, the Dodds experience days of excitement, romance—and ultimately horror as Hitler reveals his true character. An addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize Hitler as a threat until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

Jan 27, 2013
  • msevinrud rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Have to agree with Michelle - just could not wade through all the non-relevant drivel. Made it more than 1/2 way but had a stack of books that seemed way more interesting so just quit reading. Was disappointed as author had been recommended to me.

Jan 13, 2013
  • michelledrmt rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I listened to this book on audio and STILL could not get through it. The storyline had good potential, but Larson wrote in WAY too much detail, repeatedly going off on irrelevant tangents. It read like a history text book, very dry, too many facts and not enough story. I was unimpressed by the lack of creativity. Did learn some interesting things about the Nazis and Germany at this time, and would have liked to learn more, but I just couldn't bear it any longer. Very disappointed.

Dec 17, 2012
  • susarrey rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book, exceedingly well-researched and well-written as we've come to expect of Larson. I consider myself to be a bit of a history buff and had already heard of Martha Dodd, but the details of Ambassador Dodd and his family's experiences in Germany were fascinating.

Dec 17, 2012
  • llwboston rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This was a disappointing read. I was expecting a compelling narrative along the lines of Larson's Devil in the White City. While he does gives us a vivid portrait of daily life in Berlin in the first years of the Nazi regime, I wish he had focused on more interesting people, especially Americans in Berlin who were challenging the accepted view of the regime. I did learn some interesting history,such as the "trial" against the Nazis in Central Park, and the plot to try to overthrow Hitler. But there are some loose ends, such as what happened to the family in the ambassador's residence after the ambassador left? It's as if Larson focused on the least interesting person at the center of these events.

Nov 24, 2012
  • sdsmith12 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Erik Larson's books make history come to life through fascinating stories. This story is no different. Larson gives the reader a view through the eyes of the Dodds inside Hitler's Berlin. I felt that this book was a lot more detailed than The Devil in the White City. Mr. Dodd and his daughter Martha kept journals about their daily lives in Berlin. A lot of the information in this book is pulled from this. I enjoyed every bit of it and highly recommend.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/21 13:32