464 pages, 9.49 × 6.3 × 1.55 in
May 10, 2011
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307408841
ISBN - 13: 9780307408846
About the Book
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's 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. Written by the bestselling author of "Devil in the White City, 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.
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
“Larson is a marvelous writer...superb at creating characters with a few short strokes.”—New York Times Book Review
Erik 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.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s 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
From Our Editors
INDIGO RECOMMENDS: Readers of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City know that he writes rich history, where the sense of period, people and place is vivid and full, as with a great novel. In this new work we have Larson's same compelling gifts recreating Berlin 1933, the American ambassador abroad, as Hitler strengthens his power.
Larson shows us not the horrible Reich ending but its shaded beginnings, when it was less clear to all just how much hate swelled such pride. He shows us the ever darker incidents, lived by those too naïve to recognise their meaning, who thought largely of how bright was the weather then, how nice to walk in a city with such beautiful parks, with window flowerboxes everywhere.
"By far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history….Powerful, poignant…a transportingly true story."--The New York Times"Tells a fascinating story brilliantly well."--Financial Times"Highly compelling...Larson brings Berlin roaring to life in all its glamour and horror...a welcome new chapter in the vast canon of World War II."--Christian Science Monitor "Terrific."--Los Angeles Times“A stunning work of history.”--Newsweek“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 pleasures of a political thriller….a fresh picture of these terrrible events.”--The New York Times Book Review "Larson has taken a brilliant idea and turned it into a gripping book."--Women's Wear Daily"Harrowingly suspenseful." Vogue.com"A gripping, deeply-intimate narrative with a climax that reads like the best political thriller, where we are stunned with each turn of the page."--Louisville Courier Journal"Electrifying reading...fascinating." Minneapolis Star-Tribune “Larson’s latest chronicle of history has as much excitement as a thriller novel, and it’s all the more thrilling because it’s all true.”--Asbury Park Press"A superb book...nothing less than masterful."--Toronto Globe and Mail “Even though we know how it will end — the book's climax, the Night of the Long Knives, being just the beginning, this is a page-turner, full of flesh and blood people and monsters too, whose c