A lot of times when you think of Nazi Germany, you think of harsh black and white footage with goose-stepping soldiers and huge amounts of swastika banners and flags. “Beasts” does away with all of that, rendering Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 in crisp full-color detail, with such amazing description history pops right out of the page.
If you’ve read Devil and the White City, one of Larson’s other books, you know what I mean when I say this guy renders history in 3D. I’m a big fan of Laura Hillenbrand and David McCullough, but because Larson picks events that are limited in scope, he’s able to portray them even more vividly, if you can believe that. What he also does is force you to discard what you know will happen after the events took place. I found that when I read this book, I was experiencing the rise of the Nazis firsthand, and that I suspended my awareness of the horror that occurred after Dodd’s tenure. Continue reading →