Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Review of Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts

by Benjamin Benschneider
In the current edition of Northside San Francisco, my review of Erik Larson's new nonfiction book In the Garden of Beasts is published.
Book Notes
Strangers in a stranger land 
By John Zipperer 
Adolf Hitler met my stepmother. True story. She was a young schoolgirl in the 1930s, one of thousands of locals lined up to observe the Nazi leader on his visit to their eastern German city. As the dictator walked through the crowd shaking hands, he stopped long enough to playfully tug on my stepmother’s pig-tails, and he moved on. 
History is filled with such minor but interesting details that either make history come alive or bogs it down even further for people who hate history. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, the new nonfiction book from author Erik Larson, is filled with just those kinds of details of character and location, sight and even smell.

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