This Reader's Corner interview originally was broadcast in July of 2013
When President Franklin Roosevelt selected mild-mannered University of Chicago history professor William Dodd to serve as America’s ambassador to Nazi Germany in 1933, neither man had an inkling of the coming terror. In fact, Dodd accepted the post in part because he believed his light duties would allow him time to complete his exhaustive history of the American South.
The reality of Hitler’s Germany, as experienced by Dodd and his family during his four years as ambassador, is detailed in a book by today’s guest, Erik Larson.
Titled In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, the New York Times bestseller offers a first-hand account of the excitement, intrigue and horror of the Nazi era, and explains in part how the world failed to recognize the impending danger of the Nazi regime. The book is now out in paperback.
Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Devil in the White City, which won the Edgar award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for the National Book Award.