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World War II What A Time To Live

Updated on July 11, 2015

WWII

War Drop In Normandy
War Drop In Normandy | Source
War plane
War plane

1933 Germany

The story takes place in 1933 and it is about an American Ambassador and his family that live in Berlin during the Hitler years.

What I like most about the book is it really gets into the reasons so many people did not know the truth of what was going on in Germany. The story mainly takes place in Berlin. William Dodd was the first American Ambassador to Germany. I think if Dodd really knew what he was getting into he would have turned down the job. Larson describes Dodd in such detail it's like he is standing in front of me. Dodd is a regular guy that does not lead a lavish lifestyle. He is frugal and very reserved. Dodd and his wife would love to be home by 10:00 PM from any party, while other guest are getting started. Another important fact about Dodd was he is not rich and I believe he was only paid $17,000.00 a year from Roosevelt. Dodd was not politically influential. The truth was no one really wanted this job.

The Family Goes To Germany

Dodd also brings his wife and son to Germany to live. Both are very reserved and keep their life private. Dodd's daughter is a whole different story. Martha is a very flamboyant person, who seems to crave the male attention. The author should have written a separate story about Martha. She really has nothing to do with this true story. Martha seems to have no real talent except to have one affair after another with Nazi officers. I can only give my opinion but Martha did not need to be in the book it is a history book. Why even side track and put Martha's life in a nonfiction book? Anyway, one good point if it were not for Martha we may never have the Dodd story.

World War II was the central event I believe of the twentieth century. We had 57 million deaths and so much suffering. The author of the book Erik Larson gives a vivid portrait of Hitler and Germany.

List Of Great World War 11 Books

1. Plotting Hitler's Death - Joachim Fest

2. 1920 - 1939 Hitler - I Kershaw

3. 1939 - 1945 Hitler - I Kershaw

4. The Death Of Hitler - Ada Petrova and Peter Watson

5. Nazi Germany - Klaus P. Fisher

6. A History of The Holocaust - Yehuda Brauer

7. The Century - Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster

8. The Holocaust - Donald L. Niewyk

9.Scheisshaus Luck -Pierre Berg with Brian Brock

10.Meeting at Potsdam - Charles K, Mee, JR.

11. Ghost Soldiers - Hampton Sides

12.Fly Boys - James Bradley

13.Thunder Point - Jack Higgian

14. Holocaust Years - Louis Nora Levin 1933 -1935

15. Hitler's Generals - Correlli Barnett

16. A World In Flames - Martha Byrd

17. Stalingrad 1942 - 1943 - Anthony Beevor

18. Hitlers Boys In The Sunshine State

19. Eagle Against The Sun - Ronald H. Spector

20. The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw

21.The Wild Blue - Stephen E. Ambrose

22. Freedom From War - David M Kennedy really (donald J McLachlan Professor}

23. Remember Voices of the Holocaust - Lyn Smith

24. In The Garden Of Beasts - Erik Larson

25. Flags of Our Father - James Bradley

I have read these books and found all to be informative and interesting to the war years. They contain a tremendous amount of information on the war and Germany. One of the best was "in The Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson.


Europe

Information From In The Garden Of Beasts

One thing I found fascinating in the book was when the Ambassador talked about dogs in Germany. Dogs were never afraid of people. Dogs were always plump and well cared for by the German people. It was the same with horses well fed and treated very good. The German children children never seemed as happy as the animals. The German law forbade cruelty to animals and punished with prison sentences. Animals had more rights than people who were put to death without a trial. I found this to be the deepest irony in the whole story. We need this law for kids and animals in the United States.

Eric Larson

Eric Larson is the author of the book and has written this true story of Bill Dodd. Larson is not a historian like Kershaw, but his book is interesting and very well written. He made me feel like I was at the mansion and listening to the conversations taking place. "In The Garden Of Beast" is a good story.

Dodd had his misgivings about Hitler, but no one would listen to him. His friends are all caught up in the grand parties and don't want to listen to the truth.

Great Music

Great music came from World War II. The 1940s gave us swing, blues, and country, and of course the big band music. Some big songs were I'll be Home for Christmas, by Bing Crosby, Take the A train, Duke Ellington, and Cherry by Harry James, White Cliff of Dover, by Vera Lyn.

After the fall of France in 1940, we had the song, The Last Time I saw Paris. When the US entered the war two big songs were, I'll Be Back In A Year, and I Miss Your Apple Pie. This was really a fascinating time to have lived.

Living During World War II

Would you want to have lived during the War?

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Comments

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  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Charito1962, It was a very good book that told the story about living in Germany during the war years. I would not want to be there. Thanks for the comments.

  • Charito1962 profile image

    Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

    2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

    Based on your review, Ms. Stella, Erik Larson's "In the Garden of Beasts" sounds like an interesting material. All I can say is that William Dodd and his family were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I've read and watched a lot about the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. I'm glad I wasn't alive in that historical period. It must've been terrifying to be a Jew!

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Ecogranny,thanks for your comments on the book. I love reading war books and Germany is so fascinating. History needs to be retold to all our children so this will not happen again, as there is still much hate for certain people.

  • ecogranny profile image

    Kathryn Grace 

    3 years ago from San Francisco

    I was born after the war. My first exposure to World War II was The Diary of Anne Frank, when I was still a child, so I learned early on how horrific the Germans were in their quest to rid the world of anyone they felt was undesirable.

    From your description, it sounds as if Ambassador Dodd, unlike many in the Roosevelt administration, understood the dangers inherent in the German philosophy of the time and tried to warn others.

    Thank you for sharing your review.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Hi Peggy, I did read Anne Frank when I was in high school. We had a wonderful literature teacher. This teacher could make the characters come alive. She often came to class dressed like one of the characters in a book or from one of the plays we were studying.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    My dad was a paratrooper in WWII. I am one of the many baby boomers who came after the war was ended. It appears that you are very interested in that time period. One book I see missing from that list of yours is The Diary of Anne Frank.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Hi Seraphic, would love for you to write about WWII story, I find it so interesting. I had a neighbor when growing up who was in the concentration camps when she was a teenager. She was a wonderful person that laughs at everything and made everything fun. Life was all fun and games I can still hear her laugh. Thanks for reading.

  • seraphic profile image

    Seraph 

    3 years ago from Canada

    This is a great article and you have inspired me to get off my behind (yep) to write about WWII; well share information.

    I would not have wanted to live during that period, too much stress.

    I was given my grandfathers images, musings and blue prints for WWII. After he served in the front lines and liberated Holland (well one of the soldiers) he was a guard at the Nuremberg Trails. There was an internal publication (type of Newspaper) that went out to the people serving in those camps (Canadian Military). I have scanned everything with the intention of compiling a book... as I explore this my grandfather had never before seen pictures of him with famous people, I have only been able to identify a couple of them.. but it is shocking.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Romanian, The book was great hope you get to read it. Thanks for the comment and stopping by.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Teri, Thanks for reading and your comment.

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    pstraubie48 thanks for your comment. I love History and nonfiction books.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    3 years ago from sunny Florida

    One of my great pleasures is reading non fiction and this seems like a list I need to explore,

    My Daddy told us much about his war experience in WWI which brought history to life for us. Now WWII I do not know as much about as I should.

    Thanks for the suggestions ps

  • profile image

    Teri Stohlberg 

    3 years ago

    Great article, good job putting the map and video in there.

  • Romanian profile image

    Nicu 

    3 years ago from Oradea, Romania

    This book looks interesting, it was a tough job to be ambasador in Germany in 30's and 40's.

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