Elson Lecture: Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitlerís Berlin
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The bestselling author of Devil in the White City, Erik Larson is acclaimed as a master of narrative nonfiction. His new book tells the remarkable story of the Dodds, a real-life family from Chicago, who find themselves in the heart of Berlin in 1933 during Hitler's first year in power. The family encounters a city suffused with energy and optimism, its people filled with an infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. At the time, Hitler did not yet possess absolute power, and few outsiders expected his government to survive. Immersed in the tense atmosphere of the period, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they reveal an era of surprising nuance and complexity. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days of excitement, intrigue, romance, and, ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
Erik Larson is the author of the national bestsellers Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm.