In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson - Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts

  • Release Date:     ISBN: 2065917422540078
  • Book Genre: History
In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson Book Score: 4 0 5
4 star
2,711 Ratings

In the Garden of Beasts Book Summary

Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers 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 Nazi 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. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
    Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

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In the Garden of Beasts Book Comments

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In the Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson Book Reviews

  • Camino island (durwsrf)

  • Not nearly his best work (Mwoosley)

    I'm about halfway through this book and losing interest. I love E.L. And have read both "Dead Wake" and "Devil in the White City". I loved both of those books. This should be a fascinating story of the Nazi rise told through the eyes of American observers. All of the characters and events are there but the story plays slowly and most of it is only mildly interesting. Martha's many lovers grow tiring. Dodd is a disappointed lead character that is unimpressive and hard to feel much for. Later in his life, he ran over a child by accident causing severe injury and immediately fled the scene. This gives you insight into the fortitude of his character. Perhaps another American character would have had a more compelling story. Disappointed.
  • Could not put it down. (Zinguy)

    I don't generally read books about WWll but this is after all Erik Larson. I have never been disappointed by his work and after reading "In The Garden of Beasts" I am glad to say that it delivered everything I have come to expect from this author. The level of research is extraordinary in this oh so readable book. Mr. Larson is a storyteller of the highest caliber. His characters are so well developed you feel like you were there at these pivotal points of history. Fair warning, once you pick this book up you may find you can't put it down.
  • Interesting read (MattyHinSF)

    I thought this was well done. It does get a bit dry at times and the author seems to keep things going often by revealing the details of Martha's romantic life which are sultry but become a little boring after a while. Still, the author's gift for writing is evident throughout and I found his viewpoint on the Nazis very grounded and refreshing. Any history buff should love this one.
  • Not a good read (Hkgcoutd)

    Not a good story. Not interesting.
  • Zoom engsbeld (Itunes match)

  • Good read (greekdaddy000)

  • In the Garden of Beasts (Florida Bruin)

    Very good book. A great look at Nazi Germany leading up to WWII.
  • In the Garden of Beasts (SoHermione)

    I learned a lot about per World War 2 Germany from this book. I was well-educated on the topic in both High School and then in college as an International Relations major, but this book revealed a perspective to which I was not previously exposed. It was most interesting to understand how the Third Reich slowly chipped away at people's sensitivities until they were able to get away with the most abominable forms of brutality and murder and justified it, not just to the point where society silently accepted it, but actually applauded it. And it was interesting to see it all through the eyes of a misfit of the finest democratic ethics and morality. I would recommend this as required reading in high schools so that our youth can identify what it looks like and feels like to have the government slowly take away freedoms and prevent it from occurring.
  • Great story teller (Snky)

    My favorite books are typically narrative non-fiction. I am glad to have stumbled upon Larson. This one had me the entire way through the notes section! I will now go read all of his others.

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