480 pages, 7.95 × 5.18 × 1.22 in
May 1, 2012
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 030740885X
ISBN - 13: 9780307408853
About the Book
Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power.
Read from the Book
CHAPTER 1Means of EscapeThe telephone call that forever changed the lives of the Dodd family of Chicago came at noon on Thursday, June 8, 1933, as William E. Dodd sat at his desk at the University of Chicago.Now chairman of the history department, Dodd had been a professor at the university since 1909, recognized nationally for his work on the American South and for a biography of Woodrow Wilson. He was sixty-four years old, trim, five feet eight inches tall, with blue-gray eyes and light brown hair. Though his face at rest tended to impart severity, he in fact had a sense of humor that was lively, dry, and easily ignited. He had a wife, Martha, known universally as Mattie, and two children, both in their twenties. His daughter, also named Martha, was twenty-four years old; his son, William Jr.--Bill--was twenty-eight.By all counts they were a happy family and a close one. Not rich by any means, but well off, despite the economic depression then gripping the nation. They lived in a large house at 5757 Blackstone Avenue in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, a few blocks from the university. Dodd also owned--and every summer tended--a small farm in Round Hill, Virginia, which, according to a county survey, had 386.6 acres, “more or less,” and was where Dodd, a Jeffersonian democrat of the first stripe, felt most at home, moving among his twenty-one Guernsey heifers; his four geldings, Bill, Coley, Mandy, and Prince; his Farmall tractor; and his horse-drawn Syracuse plows. He mad
From the Publisher
Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
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. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
About the Author
ERIK LARSON is the author of the national bestsellers Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm. ErikLarsonBooks.com
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEARWASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEARNPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEARO, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF THE YEARUSA TODAY 10 BOOKS WE LOVEDPUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEARKIRKUS REVIEWS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEARNEW YORK TIMES, JANET MASLIN'S TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEARSEATTLE TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEARTHE WEEK BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEARGLOBE AND MAIL VERY BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARAMERICAN BOOKSELLERS ASSOCIATION INDIE BOOK OF THE YEAR“By far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history….Powerful, poignant…a transportingly true story.” —New York Times“Reads like an elegant thriller…utterly compelling… marvelous stuff. An excellent and entertaining book that deserves to be a bestseller, and probably will be.” —Washington Post“The most important book of 2011.” —O, The Oprah Magazine“A dazzling amalgam of reportage….Reads like a suspense novel, replete with colorful characters, both familiar and those previously relegated to the shadows. Like Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories or Victor Klemperer’s Diaries, IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS is an on-the-ground documentary of a society going mad in slow motion.” —Chicago Sun-Times“Fascinating...A master at writing true tales as riveting as fiction.” —People (3 1/2 stars) “Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds’ intimate witness to Hitler’s ascendancy and created an edifying narrative of this historical byway that has all the pleas