Nonfiction Book Club

On Tuesday, February 5, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., the Massillon Public Library invites readers to join the new Nonfiction Book Club and join in a discussion of In the Garden of Beasts, by Eric Larson.

Registration is required for this free program held in the Director’s office on the library’s second floor. The library invites readers to pick up a copy of this book at its Reference Desk. For more information or to register, call the library at 330.832.9831, ext. 312.


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

Find this book in our catalog.

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. 

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the "New Germany," she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance--and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler's true character and ruthless ambition. 

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Goring and the charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.