A Most Dangerous Book

  • by Christopher B. Krebs
  • Narrated by Mark Ashby
  • 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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


A Most Dangerous Book is an interesting academic study on the development of racial thought in Germany. The story of how a pamphlet of observations of ancient Germany, written by the Roman Tacitus, over almost 2 millennia ago was reinterpreted through the ages helped shape Nazi racial policy. The audible version was great. Performance reading clear with great emphasis on the major players.
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- AJC "othernj"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios