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In the Garden of Beasts: Love and Terror in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts: Love and Terror in Hitler's Berlin

Paperback Black Swan

By (author) Erik Larson

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 592 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 40mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 2 August 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552777773
  • ISBN 13: 9780552777773
  • Sales rank: 30,631

Product description

It's Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany, in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent U.S. State Department, while Martha is drawn to the Nazis and their vision of a 'New Germany' and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as the year darkens, Dodd and his daughter find their lives transformed and any last illusion they might have about Hitler are shattered by the violence of the 'Night of the Long Knives' in the summer of 1934 that established him as supreme dictator. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler amongst others, Erik Larson's new book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history.

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Author information

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist and narrative historian. His books include Isaac's Storm, Thunderstruck and the number one bestseller, The Devil in the White City, which won an Edgar Award and was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Non-Fiction Award. He lives in Seattle.

Review quote

"Larson's best and most enthralling work of novelistic history...rich with incident, populated by fascinating secondary characters, tinged with rising peril and pityingly persuasive...powerful, poignant...a transportingly true story." NEW YORK TIMES "Fascinating...using letters and diaries, Larson - a master at writing true tales as riveting as fiction - creates a nuanced, eyewitness account of a father and daughter whose eyes thankfully opened as the horrors closed in." PEOPLE "Reads like an elegant thriller...utterly compelling...an excellent and entertaining book that deserves to be a bestseller." -- Philip Kerr Washington Post "Compelling...the kind of book that brings history alive to readers and proves why Larson's Isaac's Storm and The Devil in the White City were such hits." USA TODAY "Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds' intimate witness to Hitler's ascendancy...has all the pleasures of a political thriller: innocents abroad, the gathering storm...a fresh picture of these terrible events." New York Times Book Review

Back cover copy

Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd is America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany and is about to witness a turning point in history. A mild-mannered academic, Dodd brings his family with him, including his vivacious daughter, Martha. At first, Martha is captivated by the pomp, the parties and the handsome young men of the Third Reich whose enthusiasm for restoring Germany to world prominence proves infectious. But then evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate, the press is censored and Dodd telegraphs his growing concerns to a largely indifferent U.S. State Department. As this tumultuous year unfolds, Dodd’s disillusion deepens and a time of excitement and romance is transformed into one of intrigue, fear and – ultimately – horror when a climactic spasm of violence and murder revealed Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.