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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
 
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In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin [Kindle Edition]

Erik Larson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 19.00
Kindle Price: CDN$ 13.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: CDN$ 5.01 (26%)
Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Review

"By far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history….Powerful, poignant…a transportingly true story."--The New York Times

"Tells a fascinating story brilliantly well."--Financial Times

"Highly compelling...Larson brings Berlin roaring to life in all its glamour and horror...a welcome new chapter in the vast canon of World War II."--Christian Science Monitor 

"Terrific."--Los Angeles Times

“A stunning work of history.”--Newsweek

“Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds’ intimate witness to Hitler’s ascendancy and created an edifying narrative of this historical byway that has all the pleasures of a political thriller….a fresh picture of these terrrible events.”--The New York Times Book Review
 
"Larson has taken a brilliant idea and turned it into a gripping book."--Women's Wear Daily

"Harrowingly suspenseful." Vogue.com

"A gripping, deeply-intimate narrative with a climax that reads like the best political thriller, where we are stunned with each turn of the page."--Louisville Courier Journal

"Electrifying reading...fascinating." Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“Larson’s latest chronicle of history has as much excitement as a thriller novel, and it’s all the more thrilling because it’s all true.”--Asbury Park Press

"A superb book...nothing less than masterful."--Toronto Globe and Mail  

“Even though we know how it will end — the book's climax, the Night of the Long Knives, being just the beginning, this is a page-turner, full of flesh and blood people and monsters too, whose charms are particularly disturbing.”--Portland Herald

"Larson succeeds brilliantly…offers a fascinating window into the year when the world began its slow slide into war."--Maclean's Magazine

"Erik Larson tackles this outstanding period of history as fully and compellingly as he portrayed the events in his bestseller, THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY. With each page, more horrors are revealed, making it impossible to put down. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS reads like the true thriller it is."--BookReporter.com

"Larson's strengths as a storyteller have never been stronger than they are here, and this story is far more important than either "The Devil in the White City" or "Thunderstruck." How the United States dithered as Hitler rose to power is a cautionary tale that bears repeating, and Larson has told it masterfully."--Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Reads like an elegant thriller…utterly compelling… marvelous stuff. An excellent and entertaining book that deserves to be a bestseller, and probably will be.”—The Washington Post
 
“Larson's scholarship is impressive, but it's his pacing and knack for suspense that elevates the book from the matter-of-fact to the sublime.”--Pittsburgh Review

“A master at writing true tales as riveting as fiction.”--People (3 1/2 stars)

"Larson has done it again, expertly weaving together a fresh new narrative from ominous days of the 20th century."--Associated Press

""Mesmerizing...cinematic, improbable yet true."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"[L]ike slipping slowly into a nightmare, with logic perverted and morality upended….It all makes for a powerful, unsettling immediacy."--Bruce Handy, Vanity Fair

“Dazzling….Reads like a suspense novel, replete with colorful characters, both familiar and those previously relegated to the shadows.  Like Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories or Victor Klemperer’s Diaries, IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS is an on-the-ground documentary of a society going mad in slow motion."--The Chicago Sun-Times

“[G]ripping, a nightmare narrative of a terrible time.  It raises again the question never fully answered about the Nazi era—what evil humans are capable of, and what means are necessary to cage the beast.”--The Seattle Times

"In this mesmerizing portrait of the Nazi capital, Larson plumbs a far more diabolical urban cauldron than in his bestselling The Devil in the White City...a vivid, atmospheric panorama of the Third Reich and its leaders, including murderous Nazi factional infighting, through the accretion of small crimes and petty thuggery."--Publishers Weekly(Starred Review)

Praise for Erik Larson
  
THUNDERSTRUCK
“A ripping yarn of murder and invention.”—Los Angeles Times

“Larson’s gift for rendering an historical era with vibrant tactility and filling it with surprising personalities makes Thunderstruck an irresistible tale.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Gripping….An edge-of-the-seat read.”—People
 
DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY
“[Larson] relentlessly fuses history and entertainment to give this nonfiction book the dramatic effect of a novel….a dynamic, enveloping book.”
The New York Times

“A hugely engrossing chronicle of events public and private. Exceedingly well-documented, exhaustive without being excessive, and utterly fascinating.”
Chicago Tribune
 
“An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep-defying fiction.”—Time Out New York

 ISAAC’S STORM 
“A gripping account…fascinating to its core, and all the more compelling for being true.”—New York Times Book Review

“Superb...Larson has made the Great Hurricane live again.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Gripping….The Jaws of hurricane yarns.”—Newsday


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Description

Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.

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.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3626 KB
  • Print Length: 466 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307952428
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (May 10 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HFRJM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,790 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cautionary tale of apathy and denial June 24 2011
Format:Hardcover
I dragged this heavy tome on a recent business trip and found myself utterly engrossed. I could not put it down. This is Larson's best so far. Written in an engaging narrative style, this non-fiction work traces Hitler's rise from Chancellor of Germany to dictator through the eyes of an American history professor and his daughter.

Appointed ambassador to Germany in 1933, Dodd, his wife and two adult children are initially enamoured with the changes and energy they find in Germany (Dodd had studied there in his youth). His daughter Martha, willful, self-absorbed, bright and naive is especially enthralled and counts Nazi officials among her beaus. Over time their enthusiasm for the regime wanes as it implements increasingly draconian measures against its own people.

Ambassador Dodd finds himself a Cassandra-like figure, warning the American administration of Germany's rearmament to no avail.

While readers may be familiar with this period of history, Larson brings a fresh perspective. Reading in the Garden of Beasts is liking watching history unfold before your eyes. It's a cautionary tale of apathy and denial that bears remembering.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lest we forget March 25 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by a friend who was born, as I was , during WW II, but she was born in Germany and I was born in England. We both felt we learned a great deal that we hadn't previously known about the years leading up to the war: startling revelations about attitudes in the US at that time. I have since bought the book for my husband, my son, one of my sons-in-law and one of my daughters: they have all been fascinated and have passed the book on or recommended it to others. I think a book like this, so thoroughly researched and yet so easy to read, can teach us a great deal about a conflict we should not forget. I grew up in the aftermath of WW II and it was constantly spoken of , but for my children and grandchildren it is just another piece of history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Garden of Beests, sheer delight Jan. 15 2012
Format:Hardcover
The book is a wonderful presentation of the real attitude of the American societytoward the Hitler regime. The American public in the best case was totally indifferent for the fate of the Jews in the Hitler regime.
The description in the book is excellent. You have to know a great deel of WWII history to understand the description of the heros of the story.
It is an excellent book.

Paul Bard
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling history of Hitler's Berlin June 27 2012
By PT Cruiser TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Whenever I read the history of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party during World War II, I come back to the same questions, "How could the people living in Germany allow this to happen? Didn't they realize how evil Hitler was?" Erik Larson, in his book, "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" does a good job of describing the politics and the mood beginning in 1933, when William E. Dodd brought his wife, and two grown children, Martha and Bill, Jr. to Germany with him to begin his ambassadorship in Germany. The book centers mostly around Dodd and his daughter Martha who was 22 at the time and was married, but separated from her husband.

Dodd was a history professor prior to receiving the post and was actually not one of Roosevelt's first choices. Many in the State Department weren't supportive of him and he had to defend himself at every turn. The fact that he wasn't rich and refused to live beyond his salary was a source of annoyance for other statesmen. For example, he brought his old Chevrolet and drove that around Berlin, a sign of just how frugal he was. He also had his own opinions and wasn't always in agreement with other members of the government.

At first Dodd and his family was very enthusiastic about the post and about Germany, especially his daughter, Martha who loved the party scene and dating all sorts of different men. In fact, she was one of the last members of the family to change her opinion about the Nazi party and all that it entailed. Dodd saw what was going on, but believed that once in solid control of the country that Hitler would settle to a more moderate way of governing. Of course, that didn't happen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read! Jan. 5 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was part of our Book Club reading this year. It was recommended by a member after it 'got her through' a hugely difficult week in her life as her son underwent surgery for a cancerous brain tumor. I dreaded reading it - not 'my kind' of story. It was an incredibly wonderful read! Every page pulled me onward! I often regretted that I had to put it down. The story is true, the events are real, the perspective is historical - giving the reader room to view the events through time, limiting 'horror', while not erasing the facts of the events. The story is beautifully crafted and balanced, moving from family issues of American Ambassador Dodd (Berlin), to group gatherings including the Berlin Politico, Dodd's very busy, young daughter who is infatuated with the Nazis, and Nazi 'power movers' - all in the same room in social events. Treachery abounds - even from the State Department at home and in Berlin! Be sure to read the author's sources and acknowledgements at the end - rich indeed! This book re-awakened my interest in history! It is a superb read!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars History Repeated
A great read, especially as it parallels today's events in the world. A statement that is repeatable tomorrow and sadly forever. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brent Angell
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing book!
I cannot speak for how well researched or fact-checked this book might have been, but I can say that I found it to be a fascinating read.
Published 5 months ago by tri_nav
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool insider look in world of diplomacy.
Engaging narrative from a highly intelligent and independent minded US ambassador in what was to become a crucial period of history.
Published 6 months ago by Jaygee08
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner -
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in 20th century power politics and military history. The author has crafted a description of life in Berlin during the rise of Adolf... Read more
Published 9 months ago by de La Chevrotiere
5.0 out of 5 stars Different Perspective of the Hitler Regime
This is a well crafted story based on the life on an American Ambassador and his family in Berlin during Hitler's time in power. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sandy Chernoff
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Garden of Beasts
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to discussion at our Book Club. This is a good example of a book I probably would not have read if it were not a book club... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Judith Paquet
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
This book is so well documented, I felt almost as it I knew these people. It was a time when, unfortunately, antisemitism was pervasive everywhere in Europe and North America. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cheryl Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look into Hitler's rise to power
For anyone who has wondered how Hitler was able to gain power in Germany, this book is a must-read. By focusing on the American ambassador in Berlin from 1933 to 1937, William... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Marny
5.0 out of 5 stars Erick Larson books
This was a great read and sorry that the book had to finish. As a student of history it reveals the best and worst of the era of Hitlers Germany

Don s
Published 13 months ago by Don Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!
In the Garden of Beasts.....is a book that will remain with me forever; I have already re-read it and am just as mesmerized as the first time. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Blue Jay
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why were the State Department and President Roosevelt so hesitant to express in frank terms how they really felt about Hitler at a time when such expressions clearly could have had a powerful effect on his prestige in the world? &quote;
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HITLERS PURGE WOULD BECOME KNOWN as The Night of the Long Knives and in time would be considered one of the most important episodes in his ascent, the first act in the great tragedy of appeasement. Initially, however, its significance was lost. No government recalled its ambassador or filed a protest; the populace did not rise in revulsion. &quote;
Highlighted by 794 Kindle users
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Beneath the surface, however, Germany had undergone a rapid and sweeping revolution that reached deep into the fabric of daily life. It had occurred quietly and largely out of easy view. At its core was a government campaign called Gleichschaltungmeaning Coordinationto bring citizens, government ministries, universities, and cultural and social institutions in line with National Socialist beliefs and attitudes. &quote;
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