Are We Rome?: Fall of an Empire, Fate of America [01:02:22]
@ Boston Athenaeum (2007-05-22)
tags: america unitedstates empire history [add tags]
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From the WGBH Forum Network: "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 as a dire warning of imminent collapse. Esteemed editor and author Cullen Murphy ventures past the pundit's 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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