Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #36 – In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
In 1933, William Dodd is appointed America’s ambassador to Germany in the year that Hitler rose to power. He and his family witness the rise of the Nazis, and see how Germany changed completely.
Dodd’s daughter, Martha, is one of the main characters here, and if I didn’t know this was based on historical record, I wouldn’t believe that she was as involved as she was. Martha’s kind of a slut, and gets involved with a bunch of Nazi boys, including the first chief of the Gestapo. She gets very deep into the “New Germany,” but as she witnesses the mounting violence, she realizes that things aren’t as great as she thinks.
Dodd sees what’s going on, and tries to tell the State Department, who isn’t listening. Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and new laws are being passed that make it clear that Germany is not safe.
Larson, as ever, does impeccable research, and writes a non-fiction book that reads like a novel. The book is interesting, and made me want to learn more about all the people involved. I hit Wikipedia very hard whilst reading. Highly recommended.