In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

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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  • China F.

    i had a great time...loved the book and meeting about it. Wish I could have heard all of the comments.

    October 25, 2013

    • Nancy K.

      It is really hard to hear there. Especially as we were so close to a speaker. I'm hoping the new location will be better. :)

      October 25, 2013

  • Fiona D.

    It was so nice to see everyone at the meet up. I enjoyed our discussion and the varying points of view.

    October 25, 2013

  • Rachelle A.

    Please wave or something

    October 20, 2013

  • Nancy K.

    Yes. We are outside

    October 20, 2013

  • Rachelle A.

    I am here is anyone else?

    October 20, 2013

  • Paula

    I am afraid I am in the same boat. I am a CCSD teacher too, and am just not going yo make it. Big disappointment! Maybe we should try a second meeting on this book for those of us who can't make this Sunday?

    October 19, 2013

    • Nancy K.

      I can add a second meet up if you want to give it a try. Pick a day and time and we can give it a go.

      October 20, 2013

    • Paula

      Sounds good! 10:00 on another Sunday works for me. Anyone else want to tune in on this idea?

      October 20, 2013

  • Nancy K.

    As a former CCSD teacher of 15 years, I feel your pain. I guess that is why Parentlink wouldn't allow my to check on my child's grades this morning. I hope we see you at another Meet Up soon.

    October 19, 2013

  • Greg L.

    Wish I could. I'm a CCSD teacher, all tech is down today so I've got to work and parent teacher conferences start Monday.

    October 19, 2013

  • Nancy K.

    It should be a great discussion. I googled Martha. Wow sums it up pretty well, Scott. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!

    1 · October 15, 2013

  • China F.

    Yes Scott...I'm not quit finished but was so curious about the family and the Reich that I look up the individual characters. Martha is about the most colorful. She, as it turns out, had quite an interesting life, all told. I think I'm going to listen once again (Im on Audible) if time permits. This will be an interesting book to discuss.

    October 14, 2013

  • Scott

    Finished "garden of beasts" let me suggest that after one finishes it that you look up Martha Dodd in Wikipedia or some other source.....WOW

    October 13, 2013

  • Paula

    One of my favorite topics as well. Love all the enthusiasm! :)

    October 11, 2013

  • China F.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone on Sunday October 20th for discussion of In the Garden of the Beasts! Just started and have learned some very historic details already.

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Rachelle A.

    Great book, I read it for my New York book club. Lots to discuss

    1 · October 8, 2013

  • Marcie

    I've enjoyed his other books, so I am looking forward to reading this.

    1 · September 20, 2013

  • Fiona D.

    looking forward to hearing everyone's view's on this book

    September 15, 2013

  • Michael K.

    One of my favorite subjects, practically an obsession.

    July 30, 2013

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