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Erik Larson

10 June 2011 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The bestselling and critically acclaimed author Erik Larson discusses his new book, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (Crown, 2011), with Joseph Planta.


In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson. (Crown, 2011)

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: In the Garden of Beasts


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

A marvellous book out now is In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. It takes us to 1933 Germany. The Nazis have just come to power, and Adolf Hitler is completing his first full year as chancellor. The unlikely ambassador to Germany from the United States is a mild-mannered academic, William E. Dodd. He and his family move to Berlin, and it’s through them that we see Germany as it was. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in this book, which reads like a novel, we see life as it were as Hitler tightens his grip on power. We see the gathering storm as Jewish persecution mounts and attacks on Americans occur, as well we see the reaction from Dodd, the American State Department, and their contemporaries. We also see the charmed life lead by his daughter Martha, who is fascinated and entranced by the ‘New Germany,’ which leads to romance with figures within the Nazi regime. Erik Larson joins me from Toronto now. He is the award winning author of six books including the critically acclaimed and bestselling Isaac’s Storm, Thunderstruck and The Devil in the White City, which was a number one bestseller on the New York Times list. This book, published by Crown, is this week also number one on the Times list. The website for more is at www.eriklarsonbooks.com. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Erik Larsen; Good morning, Mr. Larsen.

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