Erik Larson's suspenseful narrative history book In the Garden of Beasts shows the seductiveness of the early Nazis through the eyes of the family of William E. Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany from 1933 to 1937. After the Dodd family arrived in Berlin in 1933, they were at first enthralled by the excitement of what the Nazis were trying to do, until they realized the evil at the heart of the Nazis' plans.
Larson uses the personal situation of the Dodd family to illustrate how seductive the Nazis could be. William, for example, had earned his doctoral degree in Europe many years before and was a lover of German culture; he did not realize at first how much had changed in Germany. His daughter, Martha, was in the process of getting divorced, and she found the social scene in Germany exciting, particularly romantic liaisons with Nazi officers. In addition, the family were thrilled to live in a very lavish mansion that had been vacated by a Jewish family. The Dodds, who were not particularly wealthy, enjoyed a house that would have normally been well beyond their means, and their access to this type of privilege also shows the seductiveness of the Nazis to Germans (as many Germans seized property from Jewish people).
The Dodd family, like many Germans, other Europeans, and Americans at the time, at first refused to believe that the Nazis were bent on destruction and extermination of the Jews. Their naiveté is another factor that allows the Nazis to seduce them. At first, for example, Martha's anti-semitism makes her willing to embrace Nazi ideals. They Dodds did not, however, advocate killing Jews, and the increasing terror they witness, much of inflicted on Americans in Germany, eventually convinces them to oppose the Nazis. However, their message was largely ignored by American officials, who maintained a policy of isolationism.