In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“I walked across the snowy plain of the Tiergarten — a smashed statue here, a newly planted sapling there; the Brandenburger Tor, with its red flag flapping against the blue winter sky; and on the horizon, the great ribs of a gutted railway station, like the skeleton of a whale. In the morning light it was all as raw and frank as the voice of history which tells you not to fool yourself; this can happen to any city, to anyone, to you.” — Christopher Isherwood, Down There on a Visit
This is the account of the American ambassador to Berlin in 1933, it contains excerpts from his letters and diaries. It also contains the writings of his daughter. It is full of some wonderful quotes, a couple I listed in my status updates. It is more than just their story though, Erik Larson has done extensive research in writing this book, when talking about the research he did, he said regarding one book he had about Hitler, that he had to keep it face down on his desk, he had come to loathe the picture of Hitler on the cover.
Because of his research this is a excellent account of Hitler’s rise to power, how it happened, why the rest of the world didn’t see it.
This is an excellent book and I recommend it.