In the Garden of Beasts – It’s What We’re Reading

August 2011

A monthly offering from Drexel Library’s staff about the books we’ve read.

A Discovery of Witches


In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Erik Larson

“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 Göring and the expectedly 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.”

“Overview” Barnes and Noble

In the Garden of Beasts can be found in the Popular Fiction on the 1st floor of the Library.

Access to Computers in Drexel Library

August 1 -22, 2011

Due to carpet and furniture installation on the first floor of the Library, the number of computers available has been reduced. Students are asked to use the computers in the Library Instruction Lab, located near the Information Desk on the 1st floor. The lab has 24 computers and users can continue to print to both black and white and color printers.

In addition to the Instruction Lab, the Student Technology Center (Science Center 129) will have extended hours during the last week of summer session August 1-4 and will be open from 9am – 10pm.

The second and third floors will continue to be inaccessible through August. Study spaces are available in the South Wing, but students can also use the Campbell Library in Mandeville Hall during this time.