Agatha's Reviews > In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
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Oct 12, 11

Read from September 29 to October 12, 2011

Another fantastic piece of historical fiction from the author of Devil in the White City, Isaac’s Storm, and Thunderstruck. In this one, Larson depicts the first two years of Hitler’s ascension to power (1933-34) in Berlin, as viewed through the lenses of US Ambassador to Germany William Dodd (a former history professor and Thomas Jefferson/Civil War scholar) and his daughter Martha (who had affair after affair with Soviets and Germans at the time). Both kept copious diaries and left lots of first-hand impressions of life as they saw it in Berlin at that time. Amazon’s Best Books of the Month, May 2011. The title “Garden of Beasts” comes from a direct translation of Tiergarten, which was the central park in Berlin at the time, and was known as the Garden of Beasts (animals). Recommended.

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