Charity'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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really liked it

Incredibly well researched account of an ambassador's family's time in Germany in the early 1930s. It reminds one that a government run on caprice and for which attaining and maintaining power is the primary objective can have a significant influence on world history. It also inspires caution about blind loyalty to one's party rather than to one's ideals.

Mostly, though, it shows how the majority of people in Germany and elsewhere were just engaged in their own lives, trying to adjust and readjust to changes in their day-to-day, as most of us are now. There's so much to look at and keep track of, it's difficult to know what's significant except in retrospect.

I enjoyed the audiobook but probably would have retained more had I read the book-book.

A quote that interested me, by George Messersmith: "We must keep in mind, I believe, that when Hitler says anything he for the moment convinces himself that it is true. He is basically sincere, but he is at the same time a fanatic."

I'm also interested in the shift in connotation of the word "fanatic" during the Third Reich that Erik Larson mentions. I assume that in this quote Messersmith means it in the pre-Third Reich sense.

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Reading Progress

October 14, 2018 – Shelved
October 14, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 20, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read-added-2018
December 6, 2019 – Started Reading
December 11, 2019 –
page 0
December 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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