"Fascinating... using letters and diaries, Larson - a master at writing true tales as riveting as fiction - creates a nuanced, eyewitness account of a father and daughter whose eyes thankfully opened as the horrors closed in" (PEOPLE)
"Reads like an elegant thriller... utterly compelling... an excellent and entertaining book that deserves to be a bestseller" (Philip Kerr WASHINGTON POST)
"Compelling... the kind of book that brings history alive to readers and proves why Larson's Isaac's Storm and The Devil in the White City were such hits" (USA TODAY)
"Larson has meticulously researched the Dodds' intimate witness to Hitler's ascendancy... has all the pleasures of a political thriller: innocents abroad, the gathering storm... a fresh picture of these terrible events" (THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW)
From the Inside Flap
The year is 1933 and the city, Berlin. William E. Dodd has just been appointed America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany and is about to witness a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings his family with him, including his vivacious daughter, Martha. She is captivated by not only the pomp and the parties but also the handsome young men of the Third Reich whose enthusiasm for restoring Germany to world prominence proves infectious. Enamoured of the 'New Germany', she has a succession of affairs, including with the first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels.
But evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, the press is censored and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate and Martha's father telegraphs his growing concerns to a largely indifferent U.S. State Department. As that tumultuous 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 extraordinary atmosphere of the time and bringing a compelling, eyewitness perspective to events - with revealing portraits of some of the Nazi regime's most infamous individuals: from the bizarre Göring to the unexpectedly charming yet wholly sinister Goebbels - Erik Larson's brilliantly-researched, dazzlingly-told new history speaks volumes about why the world failed to recognize the threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
From the Back Cover
Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd is America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany and is about to witness a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered academic, Dodd brings his family with him, including his vivacious daughter, Martha. At first, Martha is captivated by the pomp, the parties and the handsome young men of the Third Reich whose enthusiasm for restoring Germany to world prominence proves infectious.
But then evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate, the press is censored and Dodd telegraphs his growing concerns to a largely indifferent U.S. State Department. As this tumultuous year unfolds, Dodd's disillusion deepens and a time of excitement and romance is transformed into one of intrigue, fear and - ultimately - horror when a climactic spasm of violence and murder revealed Hitler's true character and ruthless ambition.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.