Nazi Germany remains a deep well of untold stories. With In the Garden of Beasts (Crown, $26), Erik Larson provides a fresh look at pre-war Berlin from the perspective of an “average” American family. The family in question is that of William Dodd, who accepted the post of ambassador to Germany at a time when no one else would take it. Dodd was unlike almost all other ambassadors in that he was neither rich nor from a well-known family; he was a college professor. Dodd and his family went to Germany with a certain bright-eyed naiveté: Dodd thought he could bring American reason to Nazi leaders and Margaret, his daughter, was impressed by the trappings of life in the “New Germany.” Slowly, they came to see Hitler’s Germany for what it really was.
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Published: Crown - May 10th, 2011
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Published: Crown - May 1st, 2012