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

Good but flawed

What did you like most about A Most Dangerous Book?

The revelation of the afterlife of a seemingly harmless classical source.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Tacitus, obviously. Least favourite the Nazis: I hate those guys.


What does Mark Ashby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Some odd pronunciation!


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really.


Any additional comments?

Again there were production issues in not briefing the narrator adequately on pronunciation. Whilst his German was faultless, his Latin was at times execrable. This is not his fault, but down to the producer/director. Limes is pronounced 'Lee Mays' not 'Lie Meez' as we kept getting (making this listener think of Limeys, the American nickname for British troops during WW1!). A quick check with the author should have verified that.

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

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