I’m not a huge non fiction reader but as soon as I heard a brief description of Hitlerland, by Andrew Nagorski, I knew I wanted to read it. Nagorski’s Hitlerland is a well-researched, engagingly written, and fascinating portrait of Americans living in Nazi Germany. You can read an adapted excerpt here, and indeed, the excerpt is about one of my favorite people from the fascinating cast of characters that makes up this book. I say characters because even though every person is real, and everything they did is real and documented, the people are singularly interesting and one of a kind.
Martha Dodd, for example, was the daughter of William Dodd, the United States Ambassador to Germany. She became a Soviet spy and was known for the many relationships she had with various men during her time in Germany. Martha is just one of many people profiled in Hiterland, all of whom have an interesting progression in their opinions on Nazi Germany, and display real humanism in their behavior while living through and in one of the most interesting times and places in the 20th century.