Publisher description for Are we Rome? : the fall of an empire and the fate of America / Cullen Murphy.


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The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds from the beginning of our Republic. Today, we focus less on the Roman Republic than on the Empire that took its place. Depending on who"s doing the talking, the history of Rome serves either as a triumphal call to action, or a dire warming of imminent collapse. Esteemed editor and author Cullen Murphy ventures past the pundits" rhetoric to draw nuanced lessons about how we might avoid
Rome"s demise. Working on a canvas that extends far beyond the issue of an overstretched military, Murphy reveals a wide array of similarities between the two empires: the blinding, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of corruption; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of "privatization."
Most pressingly, he argues that we most resemble Rome in the burgeoning
corruption of our government and in our arrogant ignorance of the world outside--two things that are in our power to change. In lively, richly detailed historical stories based on the latest scholarship, the ancient world leaps to life and casts our own contemporary world in a provocative new light.


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