in the garden of beasts review

The book is about a “button-man” named Paul. And it was his sense of history, not his morality, that made him savage the German vice chancellor who dared to profess ignorance at a party about why the United States had entered the First World War. This, then, is the lesson for us today. No. It is a compelling read. “I was slightly anti-Semitic in this sense: I accepted the attitude that Jews were not as physically attractive as gentiles and were less socially desirable.” Thus spake the “slightly” opinionated Martha, whose remarks were unfailingly inflammatory and who quivered with excitement over the marvels of her new surroundings. 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. We cannot afford to lapse further into the passive acceptance of blatant propaganda and cynical grabs for power. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin “In the Garden of Beasts” has the clarity of purpose to see the Germany of 1933 through the eyes of this uniquely well-positioned American family. In the Garden of Beasts at times seems derivative of a 1940 memoir, Through Embassy Eyes, by Martha Dodd, one of the main characters of his tale.Much of the material is the same, but we can forgive that because Larson fills in everything that Dodd herself felt obliged to leave out: It’s not every U.S. ambassador’s daughter who becomes a spy for the Soviet Union. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about … When looking for a home in Berlin, he writes, the Dodds found many good prospects, “though at first they failed to ask themselves why so many grand old mansions were available for lease so fully and luxuriously furnished.” The thrifty ambassador was at first pleased to rent at a bargain rate the home of a Jewish family in exile — and quite annoyed when the owner’s wife and children reappeared on the building’s top floor. But it appreciates the ambassador’s inherent backbone, the mounting provocations that he faced, and the great dread he felt about having to deal directly with Hitler, once such meetings became inevitable. As Erik Larson, author of “The Devil in the White City,” points out at the start of “In the Garden of Beasts,” by far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history, nobody named Dodd was the president’s first choice. Dodd was also the father of Martha Dodd Stern, an indiscriminate flirt who looked at a stint in Germany as a glamorous lark, and whose own abundant writing fills “In the Garden of Beasts” with outré remarks. Overview. A great book to read from a US perspective is In the Garden of Beasts. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. If you need to flag this entry as abusive. I just finished reading this compelling—and frankly somewhat terrifying—account by Erik Larson of the brief ambassadorship of William E. Dodd in Berlin from 1933 to 1934, at the time of Adolf Hitler’s rise to absolute power. When they did meet, Dodd in top hat and tails, Hitler made a fool of him time and again. “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin,” by Erik Larson. Nor are his acolytes, hopefully, the moral equivalent of the likes of Goebbels, Goering and Himmler. But she was not the one who had to contend with increasingly violent and random attacks by German storm troopers on American visitors or had to report back to President Roosevelt. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote. On our side of the Atlantic, however, things were not that much better. in Book Review. Dodd did not arrive in Germany predisposed to notice the way a regime might mistreat certain segments of its population. But Dodd was unusual. We have already slipped deeper into callousness, animosity and corruption than most of us thought possible. “It was through the sheer, consummate stupidity of German diplomats.”. Year: 2011. Set in 1933 Berlin, it shares the story of America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany during a time in history that proved to be a turning point of events that still echo into today. Today is National Voter Registration Day! They failed, notably, to condemn the conspicuous evidence of bigotry and cruelty they could not help but notice on the public streets, before their very eyes. 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. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson, Community Member Book Review, by Jason W. As Erik Larson’s “In the Garden of Beasts,” in my opinion, is one of Larson’s better works about history. But there has been nothing quite like Mr. Larson’s story of the four Dodds, characters straight out of a 1930s family drama, transporting their shortcomings to a new world full of nasty surprises. Their son, William Jr., was at 28 four years older than Martha when their father took the Berlin posting, and stayed much less visible than his highly dramatic sister. Ambassador Dodd, an unassuming and scholarly man, is an odd fit among the extravagance of the Nazi elite. Larson’s nonfiction best-seller was earlier optioned for Hanks and Gary Goetzman to produce via the duo’s Playtone banner. NONFICTION REVIEW: "In the Garden of Beasts" An account of 1933 and 1934 in Nazi Germany through the lives of the new American ambassador, William Dodd, and his volatile daughter, Martha. Roosevelt asked Dodd to become the American The Darkest Hour director Joe Wright is in final talks to helm an adaptation of Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts for StudioCanal and Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Author: Erik Larson. 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