Review: Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin
Erik Larson

Dad book all the way dealing with that most dad book of dad book times, World War II, specifically Hitler’s rise to power as seen through the eyes of the American diplomat William Dodd and his family. This is an enjoyable, engrossing book on the rising power of the Hitler told in the anecdote heavy journalistic style that has made Larson very very rich. It’s also the story of how our own blinders, and belief in institutions and norms can lead us to doubt what is right in front of our eyes.

As Dodd and his family socialize with Nazi’s the situation in the streets gets darker and darker and at first they don’t see it. Dodd’s daughter, Martha, even dates the head of Gestapo for a time. Eventually, they come to their senses, and rebuke the Nazis, but it is, of course, already too late. Lessons worth remembering.

Recommended for the enthusiast

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