Read what people think about In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

In the Garden of Beasts

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

by Erik Larson

In the Garden of Beasts

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 1
There are currently 2 reader reviews for In the Garden of Beasts
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Power Reviewer Becky H (01/07/13)

In the Garden of the Beasts
Lovers of history will find this a fascinating peek at Hitler’s Germany. Everyman William Dodd is made Ambassador to Germany in 1933 almost by accident. Dodd, a professor at the University of Chicago, goes to Germany with his wife, an adult daughter in the middle of a divorce and an adult son. The daughter is enamored with the glitz and pomp of the German officers she meets and has a number of affairs while her father is increasingly at odds with the career officers who are supposed to support him and are actually undermining his eyewitness account of events. Dodd, increasingly aware of the persecution of Jew, the censorship of the news and newly instituted and frightening laws, is largely ignored back home by the State Department. The last fourth of the book deals with the mounting terror of the Dodds, the disappearance of friends and acquaintances and finally, the return of the Dodds to the US. Somewhat slow, with many pauses to insert background, the book is still compelling. Give yourself time to appreciate the detail Larson includes throughout the book. History geeks will find the 75 pages of notes especially interesting.
Mary G. (08/23/12)

How did we let Hitler's Germany happen?
Adolf Hitler was building his Aryan dream of control for 15 years before most of the world recognized it. Larson takes us to the Berlin of 1933, with a new U.S Ambassador and his family, and weaves a story that attempts to answer that question. He takes the time to let us get to know Dodd, and we already wonder if he's the man for the job. We meet his 24-year-old daughter Martha, and scarcely get to know his wife or older son...but it is Martha who shares the diplomatic spotlight with her father - in a most unusual way; I didn't like her very much. As an American who remembers WW II, it was enlightening to follow the Dodds around the Berlin of that time, to actually understand the people who looked to Adolph Hitler as Germany's Messiah. Dodd has been heavily criticized for his handling of his tenure, but Larson does not support that; I was horrified at the strictures diplomats must observe in fulfilling their mission. There are no battles, no bombings, no blood, but this is a look at the enemy that fleshes out our memories, that makes them human. And's a good read.
  • Page
  • 1


Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.