A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 15, 2011 - History - 304 pages
3 Reviews

“A model of popular intellectual history. . . . In every way, ?A Most Dangerous Book is a most brilliant achievement.”—Washington Post

When the Roman historian Tacitus wrote the Germania, a none-too-flattering little book about the ancient Germans, he could not have foreseen that centuries later the Nazis would extol it as “a bible” and vow to resurrect Germany on its grounds. But the Germania inspired—and polarized—readers long before the rise of the Third Reich. In this elegant and captivating history, Christopher B. Krebs, a professor of classics at Harvard University, traces the wide-ranging influence of the Germania, revealing how an ancient text rose to take its place among the most dangerous books in the world.

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User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

Informative and well-written, but it felt a bit padded -- I think it might have made a better Kindle Single than a book. Worth reading if you are interested in Germany under Hitler or in intellectual history. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

An excellent treatment of the use and abuse of Tacitus' Germania from the time of its composition through the Nazi era. Krebs ably recounts the various ways the text was shaped, adapted, and ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Christopher B. Krebs, a classics professor at Harvard University, has published widely on the Roman historians and their afterlives. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

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