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

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

The pope wanted it, Montesquieu used it, and the Nazis pilfered an Italian noble's villa to get it: the Germania, by the Roman historian Tacitus, took on a life of its own as both an object and an ideology. When Tacitus wrote a not-very-flattering little book about the ancient Germans in 98 CE, at the height of the Roman Empire, he could not have foreseen that the Nazis would extol it as "a bible", nor that Heinrich Himmler, the engineer of the Holocaust, would vow to resurrect Germany on its grounds. But the Germania inspired - and polarized - people long before the rise of the Third Reich.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2012 Christian Gauss Book Award

The riveting story of the Germania and its incarnations and exploitations through the ages.

The pope wanted it, Montesquieu used it, and the Nazis pilfered an Italian noble's villa to get it: the Germania, by the Roman historian Tacitus, took on a life of its own as both an object and an ideology. When Tacitus wrote a not-very-flattering little book about the ancient Germans in 98 CE, at the height of the Roman Empire, he could not have foreseen that the Nazis would extol it as "a bible", nor that Heinrich Himmler, the engineer of the Holocaust, would vow to resurrect Germany on its grounds. But the Germania inspired - and polarized - people 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 over a 500-year span, showing us how an ancient text rose to take its place among the most dangerous books in the world.

©2011 Christopher B. Krebs (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 07-01-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 07-01-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

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    "Dry recitation of history -- boring"

    I had great expectations about this book. This book provides the platform upon which a Nazi Germany constructed. I did find some of the Germanic history interesting -- for example there wasn't really a Germany until the late 1800's. I love history books and have read a great many. This author lacks the flair of a McCullough by an order of magnitude. Only the diehards of historians should brave the seven hour trek -- it is just soo boring and not work the misery.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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