Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | September 25, 2015

    Caitlin Doughty: IMG Caitlin Doughty's Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.)... Continue »
    1. $11.17 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton World History- Germany Nazi
6 Burnside Germany- Nazi Germany
1 Local Warehouse Germany- Modern Germany
8 Local Warehouse Germany- Nazi Germany

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


In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Cover

ISBN13: 9780307408853
ISBN10: 030740885x
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

Sheila Deeth, April 18, 2013 (view all comments by Sheila Deeth)

Subtitled “Love, Terror, and an America Family in Hitler’s Berlin,” the love and terror in Erik Larson’s The Garden of Beasts is carefully muted and well-hidden, clinically observed through a historian’s eyes and the writings of the various characters. It’s fascinating to look at Hitler’s Germany from a different point of view as World War II approaches. But the reader is kept safely at arm’s length, as if watching a silent movie with solemn voice-over. The result is a powerful mix of the well-known and predictable with those small surprises and insights of individual lives.

The US Ambassador Dodd is torn between a historian’s recognition of truths that must be slowly told and a politician’s need for instant words and instant responses. Seen as alternately weak and strong, he walks a fine line and annoys almost everyone, eventually destroying his career on a raft of good intentions. Meanwhile his daughter makes decisions based on feelings, while her emotions seem to rely on the whim of the moment. We know she’s in love because she hangs out with the same guy too much and her diary says she likes him. We know she’s not in love because she’s going out with someone else. Almost a distraction at the start of the book, her shifting relationships eventually reflect the shifting tides of public opinion, leaving her always a few steps to the side where it’s never quite safe.

The “Jewish problem” is told unflinchingly, with honest recognition of glass houses on both sides of the pond. There’s a quiet recognition of how quickly society's acceptably wrong attitudes become vicious cruelty. Tolerance and good intentions blind many to what’s really going on. Fanaticism becomes something to be aspired to. Wrong becomes right if the purpose seems good. And surely no true leader should be swayed by the opinions of the rest of the world, or so they'd have us believe.

The tragedy is well-known as familiar players take the stage. But the underlying fall of normalcy is what Erik Larson’s book makes so clear. The reader doesn’t enter into anybody’s lives, anymore than Dodd and his family entered into the lives of the German people when they traveled there. But we observe and we draw our own conclusions, hopefully ones that might help us see more clearly in the world of today. Genuinely, but not emotionally involving, The Garden of Beasts sheds light on the past and invites reflection on the present with clear historical research and quiet sympathy for Dodd, trapped on the border where beasts roamed free.

Disclosure: We’re reading this for our book group.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Victoria R Copelton, January 19, 2013 (view all comments by Victoria R Copelton)
the reality of life. During Hitler's Berlin is vividly portrayed. ambassadors have to be careful even though this one takes chances in a time when no one escapes the scrutiny of the complex system of Berlin spies in wwII. Reading this book brought me into that time period with the safety of a spectator. Because It is clear that I would be scared to death to actually be there in person. There were many brave souls who show up in this book...prepared to be caught by a paranoid regime and their courage is striking
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
mikeczyz, January 16, 2013 (view all comments by mikeczyz)
I just started and finished this book. A very interesting account of pre-WW2 Berlin as told through the eyes of the US ambassador to Germany and his daughter. I thought it was going to be dry and a bit of a chore to plow through, but was pleasantly surprised. There were very few ZZZZZ moments and it really did a lot to help explain to me how the monster known as Hitler came to power. Highly recommended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
M Rotter, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by M Rotter)
This book is the fascinating story of the American ambassador to Germany living in Berlin on the eve on the Second World War. It was terrifying reading it in hindsight, knowing that the people that Ambassador Dodd was socializing with were the authors of World War II, the Holocaust and it's aftermath. It's a good story and well written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Deek Rivers, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Deek Rivers)
I'm a slow reader by nature. I'll start a book, read a little, put it down, return to it, rinse and repeat. This one was different. I've never come across a book that had the particular framework as this one: the story of an American family, transplanted to Germany, the father hastily appointed ambassador to Germany as Hitler's rise to power takes place. I finished it late into the evening of the second day, and can recommend it as a engrossing story of national events and family dynamics; it felt like the author was asking me, what would you do if you were in their place?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
 1-5 of 9 next

Product Details

Larson, Erik
Broadway Books
Crime - True Crime
World History-Germany
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 in 0.84 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Time, Love, Memory: A Great... Used Trade Paper $3.95
  2. The Caregiving Wife's Handbook:... Used Trade Paper $10.50
  3. Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an...
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. The Gun Seller
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  5. Physics for Future Presidents: The... Used Trade Paper $9.00
  6. The Devil Amongst the Lawyers: A...
    Used Trade Paper $10.50

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Modern Germany
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » World History » Holocaust

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Broadway Books - English 9780307408853 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds' intimate witness to Hitler's ascendancy and created an edifying narrative of this historical byway that has all the pleasures of a political thriller...a fresh picture of these terrrible events."
"Review" by , "By far his best and most enthralling work of novelistic history....Powerful, poignant...a transportingly true story."
"Review" by , "Tells a fascinating story brilliantly well."
"Review" by , "Highly compelling....Larson brings Berlin roaring to life in all its glamor and horror...a welcome new chapter in the vast canon of World War II."
"Review" by , "A stunning work of history."
"Review" by , "A gripping, deeply-intimate narrative with a climax that reads like the best political thriller, where we are stunned with each turn of the page."
"Review" by , "Electrifying reading...fascinating."
"Review" by , "Larson's latest chronicle of history has as much excitement as a thriller novel, and it's all the more thrilling because it's all true."
"Review" by , "A superb book...nothing less than masterful."
"Review" by , "Even though we know how it will end — the book's climax, the Night of the Long Knives, being just the beginning, this is a page-turner, full of flesh and blood people and monsters too, whose charms are particularly disturbing."
"Review" by , "Larson succeeds brilliantly...offers a fascinating window into the year when the world began its slow slide into war."
"Review" by , "Erik Larson tackles this outstanding period of history as fully and compellingly as he portrayed the events in his bestseller, The Devil In The White City. With each page, more horrors are revealed, making it impossible to put down. In the Garden of Beasts reads like the true thriller it is."
"Review" by , "Larson's strengths as a storyteller have never been stronger than they are here, and this story is far more important than either The Devil in the White City or Thunderstruck. How the United States dithered as Hitler rose to power is a cautionary tale that bears repeating, and Larson has told it masterfully."
"Review" by , "Reads like an elegant thriller...utterly compelling...marvelous stuff. An excellent and entertaining book that deserves to be a bestseller, and probably will be."
"Review" by , "Larson's scholarship is impressive, but it's his pacing and knack for suspense that elevates the book from the matter-of-fact to the sublime."
"Review" by , "A master at writing true tales as riveting as fiction."
"Review" by , "Larson has done it again, expertly weaving together a fresh new narrative from ominous days of the 20th century."
"Review" by , "[L]ike slipping slowly into a nightmare, with logic perverted and morality upended....It all makes for a powerful, unsettling immediacy."
"Review" by , "Dazzling....Reads like a suspense novel, replete with colorful characters, both familiar and those previously relegated to the shadows. Like Christopher Isherwood's Berlin Stories or Victor Klemperer's Diaries, In the Garden of Beasts is an on-the-ground documentary of a society going mad in slow motion."
"Review" by , "[G]ripping, a nightmare narrative of a terrible time. It raises again the question never fully answered about the Nazi era — what evil humans are capable of, and what means are necessary to cage the beast."
"Review" by , "In this mesmerizing portrait of the Nazi capital, Larson plumbs a far more diabolical urban cauldron than in his bestselling The Devil in the White City...a vivid, atmospheric panorama of the Third Reich and its leaders, including murderous Nazi factional infighting, through the accretion of small crimes and petty thuggery."
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at