In the Garden of Beasts

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

By Erik Larson
(Crown Publishing Group (NY), Hardcover, 2300166530020)

Publication Date: May 10, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Compact Disc, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the May 2011 Indie Next List
“What would it have been like to live in Berlin during the first year of Hitler's reign? Larson's answer is as haunting as anything he has ever written. The narrative focuses on William Dodd, a mild-mannered scholar who was appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany in 1933. Adolph Hitler had been chancellor for a mere six months. Over the ensuing year, Dodd and his family members saw their hope and sense of promise turn into horror and revulsion as Germany rapidly descended into a pit of violence and fear. In the Garden of Beasts is a surprising, informative plea to heed the lessons of history.”
-- Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer 2012 Reading Group
“Larson once again tells the story of real people living through momentous, historic events. In 1933, William Dodds becomes America's ambassador to Germany, a year after Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany. Dodds brings his family with him to Berlin, including his daughter, Martha, a vivacious socialite. The U.S. State Department shows more concern about reconciliation with Germany in hopes of debt repayment than in the increasing signs that Hitler is stepping up violence against Jews and building up his military capabilities. With the Dodds family, you will be right in the middle of the events that led up to WWII.”
-- Jeanne Costello, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO



NPR
Friday, May 4, 2012

William Dodd served for four years as the ambassador to Germany before resigning â?? after repeated clashes with both Nazi Party officials and the State Department. Erik Larson chronicles Dodd's time in Berlin in his new book, In the Garden of Beasts. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Thursday, Dec 29, 2011

In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin chronicles the U.S. ambassador William Dodd's attempts to warn the U.S. of the growing threat that the Nazi Party posed. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Monday, May 9, 2011

William Dodd served for four years as the ambassador to Germany before resigning â?? after repeated clashes with both Nazi Party officials and the State Department. Erik Larson chronicles Dodd's time in Berlin in his new book, In the Garden of Beasts. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. In his prologue (“Das Vorspiel”), Erik Larson writes, “There are no heroes here, at least not of the Schindler’s List variety, but there are glimmers of heroism.” What heroism did you find in this history? Who were the greatest cowards?

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