Synopses & Reviews
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 whos doing the talking, the history of Rome serves as either a triumphal call to action or a dire warning of imminent collapse. In Are We Rome? the esteemed editor and author Cullen Murphy reveals a wide array of similarities between the two empires: the blinkered, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of bribery in public life; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of privatization. Murphy persuasively 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 must be changed if we are to avoid Romes fate.
Esteemed editor and author Murphy draws nuanced lessons for how America might avoid Rome's fate. In lively, richly detailed historical stories based on the latest scholarship, the ancient world leaps to life and casts the contemporary world in a provocative new light.
About the Author
Cullen Murphy is the editor at large at Vanity Fair and the former managing editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of Are We Rome?, The Word According to Eve, and the essay collection Just Curious.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Eagle in the Mirror / 1
1 : The Capitals / 24 Where Republic Meets Empire
2: The Legions / 59 When Power Meets Reality
3 : The Fixers / 91 When Public Good Meets Private Opportunity
4: The Outsiders / 121 When People Like Us Meet People Like Them
5: The Borders / 152 Where the Present Meets the Future
Epilogue: There Once Was a Great City / 185 Acknowledgments 207 Notes 209 Bibliography 251