Loved this book, fascinating view of the times. I am not a history buff, but this did inspire me to read more books on the time period.
An in depth first person look at the rise of Hitler and an interesting perspective of the people and attitudes before WW2. Understand that this is a collection of narratives and dispatches that cobble together a story. It is not a masterwork of historical fiction like Devil in the White City.
Interesting view on history
Anyone who has coffee at breakfast. Hoye seems to have just woken up from a nap every time he reads. I hit 2x speed and enjoyed the book a great deal more from that point forward.
Prepare for detail!
Hoye!!! I was first annoyed by him during his read of 'The Killer Angels'. Great book and I thanked my maker when it was over because of his narration (2x speed once again deployed). Some people really really like him but Yeesh! Wake up man! I get the feeling that he reads the book the night before and then speaks really slowly so he can get through his day without flubbing a line. From now on I'll keep my eye out for this valerian laced murmurer and get on with my life.
The first thing I did after the listen was google Martha Dodd, the Ambassador's flighty, flirty daughter. Her social and sexual exploits bring flesh and blood to what could have been another dry, academic account of the rise of Nazism in Germany. Larson skillfully tells the story through letters, documents, diaries written by the protagonists and other real people who lived the events. In this era of instant communication, it's difficult to understand the naivete exhibited by the politicians and leaders when confronted on paper with the evidence of evil occurring in Berlin in the early thirties.
One thought, this story would not have been available if the Dodds had had email...wonder how many other great stories are lost to digital communication?
Very relevant to our times, more so than I ever anticipated seeing in my lifetime. Shows real people, real political dynamics that emasculate people's boldness and needed confrontation of obvious evil. Shows people's reluctance to truly believe human beings are so capable of such depths of evil - a naïveté regarding the potential of human nature. I've ALWAYS wondered how civilized people could allow such evil to arise amongst them. This book, coupled with current events, sheds great light on this dark period of human history. I just earnestly pray we learn from history that you can't appease evil ... You must recognize it for what it is and confront it with boldness regardless of any personal costs. The writing by Erik Larson and the reading by Stephen Hoye are both outstanding!
Great reader, good Lasron story. Not as good as Devil in the White as far as the story, but I did get a great sense for what it was like in 1933-1934 Germany and lead me to re-up on my history of the how such a terrible thing could happen.
This book was one of the best I have listened to. Just when I thought there wasn't anything new to hear about WWII and what led up to it, this book comes along! I felt like it got me more inside the Third Reich than any book or movie so far. A big claim, but that's how I felt as I listened. The author lays it out like a historian. Not to detailed, but yet plenty of factual information, at least for my tastes. The story of the daughter you have to read to believe. Holy smokes.
I read the book last summer and then listened to it in preparation for book club discussion in April. The reading/performance was wonderful, but it did point out some of the book's flaws--Larson gets into minute and irrelevant detail often and takes the reader into a spider hole that doesn't really improve the story much. Mentioning lipstick on a glass is not a detail worth writing or reading about. I think that Larson tried to fill pages in his latest book.
The story is fascinating because it has been overlooked for so long. It is the perfect topic for Larson for this very reason. It seems that he had to over-reach to meet marketing/sales requirements which would be very challenging after his blockbuster The Devil in the White City. Hard to top that!
I would recommend this if you have any interest in Hitler's rise to power and the US relationship to Germany prior to and at the beginning of WWII.
Martha's date with Hitler!
Excellent job with German!
The men and women who had a vision to bring the world fair to Chicago
Chicago World Fair and a Serial Killer - what more can you ask for.
In the Garden of Beasts is an in depth account of William Dodd (and his daughter Martha) in a time of history that I did not know much about. Most history books and movies about Hitler Germany focus on the years 1938-1945 and only the well-known characters, whereas this book is set in the early 1930's from the view of a not so well-known family. From Dodd's diary, you get an interesting perspective of the rise of Hitler in Germany and the role of the U.S. State Department. There is no grand finale to the book, as it only covers William Dodd's service time. It's a prequel to events we already know so much about (the Holocaust, WW2).
I'm a trucker of nearly 25 years. Listening to the radio is a matter of habit for me, but hearing the same songs over and over and OVER again became old. Audio books help those miles roll by faster!
I've wondered how a presumably educated, reasonable nation of people could allow the rise to power such terrible madness. This book answers that question somewhat from a civilian perspective. Good book.