Book Review: “Garden of Beasts” by Jeffery Deaver

GardenOfBeastsThumbby Brad Nelson
I don’t normally read spy thrillers, but a conservative friend recommended Garden of Beasts to me. But I’d say it’s equal parts spy thriller and historical novel. The books recommended  for further reading at the end is huge. It seems the author did much research and it shows. One Amazon.com reviewer writes:

In Garden of Beasts, Deaver takes us back to 1936 and I mean he takes us back. Edward R. Murrow used to have a television show, as I recall, entitled “You are There.” in which the viewer was taken back to an historic event. Well, after reading this book, you will have a pretty clear picture of Germany in the days of the Hitler ascendancy. It is not a pretty picture.

Of course, yours truly enjoys reading such a book to notice the parallels in our own time. I can’t help connecting Nazi fascism with liberal fascism. As Jonah Goldberg writes in his excellent book, Liberal Fascism, the penchant the Nazis had for health food, animal rights, purity, uniformity, demonizing various classes, and hatred for smoking is so reminiscent of today’s “Progressives” or the Left. “The rich,” “Big Oil,” “the right wing,” “Christian conservatives,” or just “conservatives” are among the demonized “Jews” of our day. And, of course, the Jews still are targets of anti-Semitism from the Left, as always.

And in the Nazi era it was common to denounce other people. You might find out that some neighbor was one-quarter Jewish, and just out of spite, you would denounce them. (And, I believe, very often there was a profit motive behind such denunciations, but not always.)

That reminds me of neighbors who will today denounce people for supposed environment crimes. I know one good fellow who is scared to death of his neighbors. He will sneak out in the dead of midnight to do a little pruning on his own trees — something that is against the law for certain trees near the water. Especially if you live on the shoreline, your property no longer is under your control. And you have to be very careful of neighbors who will report you to today’s Gestapo (the EPA, or whomever) if you should dare to touch some of the shrubbery on your property covered by the increasingly fascist Shoreline Management Act.

Oh, and the Hitler Youth. What a scary organization that was. And I can’t help thinking of our own public school system wherein some teachers were, a while back, teaching kids to sing songs praising Obama. And you can’t help thinking of those instances (environmental fascism again) where teachers have sent their students home to report on their parents regarding any environment crimes. It may sound all warm and fuzzy if your kids are checking up on you to see if you are recycling, but it should strike most parents as a creepy thing for the schools to be doing.

There are parallels in religious bigotry as well. Religion is typically a no-no in socialist or fascists regimes. The Leader wants your loyalty all to himself. And today we have the left trying to erase religion wherever they can. And, of course, ideological purity is a must, whether fascist or liberal fascist. That is, in effect, what political correctness is. Fascist-like liberals also often demand ideological conformity in higher education and where commonly (as reported by David Horowitz and others) conservatives and Jews are increasingly treated with contempt, and sometimes outright violence, including the breaking of glass. Shades of Kristallnacht.

But if you live in California, or just about any other liberal extreme, you’ve been taught that “the right wing” are the nasty authoritarians. Well, nobody is perfect. But it is this bigotry (again, very Nazi-like) that blinds these people from the real Nazi-like mentality in their midst.

And the real Nazis, as portrayed by Jeffery Deaver in his novel, are no picnic either. And another amazing parallel is that, just as the press is apologizing for and covering for Hamas and other Jew haters today, back during the Olympic games in Berlin in 1936 (the era this novel is set), there were plenty of people willfully overlooking the evil of the Nazis.

Will we ever learn? This is where novels such as “Garden of Beasts” come in. You get a glimpse of the kind of bigotry, ideological purity, and government-as-god that is so dangerous, now as then. Oh, and it’s a pretty good spy thriller as well. • (867 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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2 Responses to Book Review: “Garden of Beasts” by Jeffery Deaver

  1. CCWriter CCWriter says:

    I read this book. It was really good.

    What impressed me the most is that as the Nazis were ratcheting up their boldness, people didn’t know how to react. They were on edge, but they were in denial because they’d never seen anything like it before, and they didn’t know what they could do anyway. Except maybe get out while there was time, but they didn’t know how much time they had. The regime wanted people to be off-balance and powerless and not know whom they could trust and therefore fall back on just hoping everything will be all right and treating the Nazis as if they were normal diplomatic officials like anywhere else.

    The take-away should be: If certain things happen, and your spider senses tingle, pay attention. Understand that it may very well be not an anomaly but part of a pattern. I’m not saying what is going on now is comparable. What I am saying is that when very bad things happen, they may be out of the blue like 9/11…or they may sneak up on you with great craft and subtlety. So have some ideas about what you can do, before things get that far.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I read this book. It was really good.

      Wow. Cool. It’s nice to run into someone else who has. I don’t suppose this to have been a very well-known book.

      Yes, good point about how the Nazis pushed. That’s what Obama is doing right now. They push, push, push, and people don’t know how to react. There is always some built-in deference to authority, and apparently that was especially true with the German people.

      And now we’re becoming like the German people and not the ones who threw tea into the harbor at Boston. It’s scary seeing the lawless people such as Obama ratchet it up and everyone just becoming used to it. God bless Ted Cruz and keep him safe, one of the few men in our national government with brains and integrity.

      CC, right now I’d say are people have been more than softened up for the next stage in a dictatorship. We are ripe for a Reichstag type of event. I would like all the liberals out there who are watching to be deathly honest. If a very large bomb went off in some shopping mall or government building, and the government pinned it on a conservative group, what would you do if Obama said that such a national emergency required setting aside elections?

      I know what you would do. You’ve already been thorough programmed in acting out the routine of the Orwellian two minute hates. You would not blink.

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