Winner: 2015 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize in European history from 1815 through the 20th century, American Historical Association.
Finalist: 2015 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award, Cultural and edia Studies, Association for Jewish Studies.
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"A thoughtful and massively researched book. . . . One learns a lot and is left with a lot to ponder."
"In arguing for the importance of place and social setting in the formation of ideas, Levine crosses as many scholarly disciplines as Aby Warbug's Library of the Science of Culture did in its heyday. . . . Levine shows how crucially time, place, and people can affect what we finally study and ponder; but in the end, if we are lucky, we all make our own Dreamland of Humanists with the materials at hand."
“If there is any example of an intellectual history with its feet on the ground, then it would be Levine’s thoroughly researched and beautifully told story of the Warburg library. More than a book about a place, an institution, and a handful of intellectuals, Dreamland of Humanists is an unparalleled geography of twentieth century intellectual life, and a key to its countless codes and mysteries.”
German Studies Review
“Levine gets it right. Her accounts are characterized by an impressive intellectual reach and stupendous scholarship. . . . Levine offers more than a contribution to the cultural and intellectual history of twentieth-century Germany, the Weimar period, or the development of the disciplines of art history, cultural history, and philosophy. Dreamland of Humanists is an examination into the principal conditions under which great ideas can thrive—anywhere in the world.”
Suzanne Marchand | Journal of Modern History
“Levine’s book succeeds very well, too, in carrying out another mission, and that is to understand exactly what difference the ‘Jewishness’ of the three protagonists made in their lives and ideas. . . . Never pushing the case too hard, Levine shows that all these figures lived and worked keenly aware of the cultural prejudices around them, trying, in various ways, to transcend them. Levine deserves much credit for having given us new insight into these figures by setting them firmly into the loamy soil of Hamburg. . . . This is a fine book, and I hope it will provoke the writing of more studies of liberal intellectuals and their hometowns.”
“During the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century, a small coterie of intellectual and cultural figures succeeded into transforming Hamburg, however briefly, into one of the cultural capitals of Europe. Levine’sDreamland of Humanists is an intellectual history of this important, and underappreciated, place and time. . . . Levine has contributed a major volume to the project of reestablishing the intellectual significance of Warburg, Cassirer, and Panofsky for twentieth century humanist thought, and the cultural transformation of the city that sustained them.”