N the garden of beasts by erik larson

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n the garden of beasts by erik larson

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitlers Berlin by Erik Larson

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes Americas first ambassador to Hitlers 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 surprisingly 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 Hitlers true character and ruthless ambition.

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Goring 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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One of the malicious nicknames given to William E. Roosevelt, who appointed Dodd ambassador to Germany in , had supposedly meant to offer the post to a Yale law professor named Walter F. Dodd but made a mistake in looking up the name. And the Berlin post was no plum. Other candidates had already shown their reluctance to do time in what, even before Adolf Hitler assumed absolute power, was an increasingly menacing Germany. But Dodd was unusual. So was the modesty of his ambitions.

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. 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 surprisingly 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.

Oct 25, Minutes Buy. May 10, Minutes Buy. May 01, ISBN May 17, ISBN May 10, ISBN Oct 25, Minutes.

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Larson recounts the career of the American Ambassador to Germany, William Dodd , particularly the years to when he and his family, including his daughter Martha , lived in Berlin. The Ambassador, who earned his Ph. She defended the regime to her skeptical friends. Within months of their arrival, the family became aware of the evils of Nazi rule. Dodd periodically protested against it. President Roosevelt was pleased with Dodd's performance while most State Department officials, suspicious of his lack of background in their area of expertise, as well as his inability to finance embassy activities from his own wealth, found him undiplomatic and idiosyncratic.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Emmanuelle H. says:

    Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

  2. Angelette B. says:

    That they are not is intriguing, implying that grave danger has always been a possibility; that religious, personal and economic freedom have remained the building blocks of Western civilisation for some time; that decisions as to whether or not to intervene when mankind is in grave danger have defined modern history.

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