World War II What A Time To Live
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.
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 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 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.