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

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

by Christopher B. Krebs

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Overview

A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich by Christopher B. Krebs

“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393342925
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/27/2012
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 413,405
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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

Table of Contents

Illustrations 9

Acknowledgments 11

Introduction The Portentous Past 15

1 The Roman Conquest of the Germanic Myth 29

2 Survival and Rescue 56

3 The Birth of the German Ancestors 81

4 Formative Years 105

5 Heroes' Songs 129

6 The Volk of Free-Spirited Northerners 153

7 White Blood 182

8 A Bible for National Socialists 214

Epilogue Another Reading, Another Book 245

Notes 251

Index 287

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A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
cheesedb More than 1 year ago
I do not know whether this book's writing was inspired by the success of the far superior "Swerve", which detailed the rediscovery of the last, lost copy of the Epicurean saga. Perhaps the author already had written his own book and it was only the success of "Swerve" that convinced a publisher to print this pale imitation. Regardless, this book is annoyingly redundant and skips past what could be the most interesting aspects of its history in thrall to demonstrate the author's meticulous research. I could have done less with mentioning every person to lay hands on Tacitus' Germanicus and more fleshing out of particular characters involved in its history, such as the humanistic papal secretary who rediscovered it  (who also plays a pivotal and much more engagingly told part in the "Swerve") or even the Brothers Grimm. I love history, mysteries, and books so the premise of this book immediately grabbed my attention. Unfortunately it failed to live up to my expectations.I'm not convinced that Tacitus' tract was a most dangerous book, but this book is certainly a most boring one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid history fan, this book delivers a wonderful adventure of "history" through history. Definatly recommended for any history fan.