Who Needs Greek? is an interdisciplinary study of arguments on what ancient Greece has meant to western culture from the ancient world to today. The battles between artists and literary critics, historians and journalists, politicians and scholars, are often violent, hilarious, and always passionate. This cutting-edge cultural history ranges from ancient Greece via the Renaissance to modern opera, and treats a central question of culture in a way which will intrigue academics as well as a more general audience.
'... Goldhill enlists his reader in an argument which is scholarly, theoretical and thoroughly absorbing ... the overwhelming contribution that this book makes to textual studies is clear. Ultimately Who Needs Greek? demonstrates just how violent the cultural politics of identity are, and what is at stake if we forget that.' English 'Irony and playfulness are much in evidence throughout the pages of this delightful book ... it is all the more impressive that the author leaves us with a renewed sense of the genuine seriousness of contests over classical Greek language and culture in the long passage to modernity.' The Classical Review 'The writing is vivid and the narration forceful ... twenty illustrations enliven a text which [Goldhill] clearly wrote with relish as well as commitment.' Journal of Hellenic Studies '... fascinating and illuminating study ... anyone interested in reception studies should read this account of moments in cultural history ...' Journal of New Theatre Quarterly '... a passionate, committed but mature exploration of what Greek has meant historically; and, more pertinently, a vision of what it can and even should mean now and for the future ... this is an exemplary book.' Gnomon 'Goldhill's elegant and witty writing ... made the reading highly pleasurable. This is surely the most innovative book on the classical tradition to cross my desk, and one from which I will continue to draw inspiration, as well as information. ... a carefully constructed, deeply researched, and elegantly argued text. It asks some extremely important questions ... and the answers it gives are fresh, concise, and often amusing. ... Goldhill has made an impressive, innovative and convincing case that we do, as a society, need Greek.' Hermathena