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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reading Guide for The Garden of the Beasts

Here are some study questions for Larson’s The Garden of the Beasts.

1.       How would you rate Larson’s book?
2.       What circumstances led to Hitler’s power?
3.       How would you describe William Dodd’s character? Why?
4.       Why did Roosevelt initially not select Dodd as his German Ambassador?
5.       How did Dodd and his daughter view Hitler’s regime before and after their move                  to Berlin?
6.       Was William Dodd the right man for the job?  Why?  Why not?
7.       Did Martha have any admirable characteristics?  Was she a liability or an asset?
8.       What kept US politicians from getting more involved in WWII at an earlier point?
9.       Given the circumstances, could Dodd have done more to change the course of            history?
10.   Could history repeat itself in a similar manner today?  Where and why, or why not?
11.   What intrigued and disturbed you most about the historical period of the book?
12.   What would you like to know that was not answered in this book?
13.   Would this book be a good supplementary text for high school students?   Why?

For additional intriguing, corroborating, and gut wrenching details see:
Moorhouse, R. (2010). Berlin at war. NY: Basic Books.
Nagorski, A. (2012). Hitlerland: American eyewitnesses to the Nazi rise to power. NY: Simon & Schuster.

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