In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
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 w...more
My marker of a good book is that when I finish reading it, I spend hours doing internet searches on the protagonists. I did this with Beasts, and discovered that in the last year the remains of Goering's widow were discovered at his estate and her identity confirmed through DNA evidence. You'll never get this satisfaction with a fictional novel!
As a a reader of historical non-fiction books -- I don't read novels (Tom Clancy or otherwise), and won't weigh in on apples to oranges comparisons. But I have read a dozen books on the history of Chicago and their worlds fairs, and can say that Devil in The White City is a first class work of history.
In summary, I find Larsen's books refreshing in comparison to the dry, overly footnoted fare we usually get from academic historians. Larsen's gift is his ability to maintain historical accuracy while injecting an emotional element that immerses one totally into the time and place.
I look forward to his next project!(less)
I was split on Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City because I found the half of the book about the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair incredibly interesting but thought the other half about serial killer H.H. Holmes to be just another true crime gore fest. Then in Thunderstruck he again gave us some nice pop history with the story of Marconi and the inventi ...more
Erik Larson - image from University of Washington - photo by Mary Cairns
While this is hardly a man-on-the-strasse point of view, a look at the goings on through the experiences of a diplomat and his daughter does get ...more
William Dodd had no idea what he was saying yes to when President Roosevelt ...more
It seems clear from this p ...more
Erudite but ineffectual historian, Dr. William E. Dodd was chosen to be Ambassador to Germany in the decade leading up to WWII, because President Roosevelt couldn't find anyone else willing to take on the job. In 1933 Dodd was tasked with handling relations with a rabid and deranged political phoenix named Adolf Hitler. Perhaps you've heard of him?
Dodd has brought along his ...more
This book has some interesting parts, like a bit of an inside view of events and people, both German and American officials and citizens. We see through their eyes how Hitler was able to take more and more power over Germany. Also, there are several appearances of the J ...more
I've read a fair number of books about the Holocaust and I did find the political maneuvering described in 'Garden' interesting in a stomach turning, sickening kind of way. But the people in this story never came to life for me, with the exception of Martha Dodd who I didn' ...more
Listening to a book detailing the slow rise of a fascist ...more
In his latest book, In the Garden of Beasts, Larson takes on the rise to po ...more
William Dodd was in many ways a sort of square peg in a round hole when he became America's ambassador to Germany in 1933. He seems (according to Mr. Larson) to have become ambassador because it was a post very few wanted. He had hoped to get an appointment ...more
Not being an avid non-fiction reader (although I'm getting better about that), it is sometimes hard for me get through a book choc full of dates, geography and personal titles without either being royally confused or painfully bored. I need actual "stories" to flesh out what I'm reading and enable me to have some pictures in my head so I can keep u ...more
Roosevelt selects a new Ambassador to Germany, William E. Dodd. As he later finds out, he's not the President's first choice, or his second, or his third. No one wants the job, recogn ...more
In his preface, Larson writes, “Once, at the dawn of a very dark time, an American father and daughter found themselves suddenly transported from their snug home in Chicago to the heart of Hitler’s Berlin. They remained there for four and a ...more
William E. Dodd was not President Roosevelt's first choice for his ambassador to Germany in 1933 and many in Washington thought the mild-mannered college history professor was ill-suited for the job. He wasn't rich and flamboyant; he wasn't a member of the "pretty good club" of Harvard-educated career diplomats; and he had no talent for playing political games. He was however a "pleasing, interesting person with a fine sense of humor and simple modesty." He felt his job was to be a r ...more
It's fascinating how the U.S. g ...more
|Why did the Author leave out tha Martha Dodd was a Soviet Spy?||107||2058||Jul 20, 2020 11:04AM|
|Play Book Tag: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin--Erik Larson--4 stars||4||15||Apr 27, 2020 05:55AM|
|Non Fiction Book ...: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (Feb 14 - Apr 30, 2020)||26||27||Mar 20, 2020 05:00AM|
|Play Book Tag: (+Listopia) In the Garden of Beasts / Erik Larson. 3.5 stars||6||18||Aug 05, 2018 01:38PM|
|Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson||1||7||Jun 01, 2018 12:51PM|