Critical acclaim for 'Brill Companion' in 'Fascism' and 'History of Humanities'

The reviewer for Fascism, Martijn Eickhoff, writes:

‘In fourteen authors (in sixteen contributions) give an excellent introduction to the role and position of the classical tradition in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. The themes involved are diverse, [and] without exception relevant…

In her inspiring introduction Helen Roche stresses the importance of a balanced approach, combining doubt towards the postwar assumption that classicists were never true collaborators, with criticism of the one-sided view that the classical past under fascism and national socialism was always irredeemably linked-up with politics… The combination of these two countries is remarkably enough still quite novel, at least for those studying the appropriation of the classical past, and therefore much needed…’

He concludes: ‘This rich and much-needed companion not only stimulates discussion on a factual and theoretical level, but also inspires additional research.’

To access the review online, click here.

The reviewer for History of Humanities, Genevieve S. Gessert, writes:

‘To probe the many facets and complications of this rich topic, [the editors] have collected an impressive variety of methodological approaches… [The contributors’ essays are grouped] into throught-provoking thematic clusters – People, Ideas, and Places – each containing analyses of the diverse media created by both regimes…

It may be tempting to mine an edited volume simply for the individual chapters that pertain to a researcher’s area of interest, but a complete reading here provides considerable additional rewards. To begin with, the Companion is masterfully edited, with not only numerous cross-references, but actual dialogue across chapters dealing with similar or parallel issues… This comprehensive view raises significant broader questions regarding the impact of totalitarianism on the humanities disciplines that the volume treats, particularly classics…’

She concludes: ‘The volume is most commendable for presenting the contexts of this phenomenon in all of their complexity and encouraging dialogue across time and discipline. In this way, we can hope to harness these challenges toward deeper para-chronological understanding of the place of classical antiquity in modern history, but also of the modern lenses that filter our perception of classical antiquity.’

To access the review online, click here.