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

Larson is an outstanding author, and here he focuses on 1933 and early 1934 and American Ambassador William Dodd’s tenure in Berlin. Dodd, a history professor, arrived in Germany with his wife and two adult children, Bill and Martha, after his appointment by FDR. Hindsight is 20/20, but it is creepy to read about Hitler’s consolidation of power within the German government and the fear and anxiety felt by the German people. Larson himself reveals that all the reading he did to prepare for writing this book put him into a “deep spiritual malaise, not because of the sheer volume involved but because of the horrors revealed.”

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RATING: * * * * Very, very good
Reviewed by: kh

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