Vendor
Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Basic Books (2018-11-06)
Original language
English
Themas
Politics & government
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MORTAL REPUBLIC

How Rome Fell into Tyranny

by Watts, Edward J.

A new history of the Roman Republic and its collapse

In Mortal Republic, prize-winning historian Edward J. Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy. For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean's premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise. By the 130s BC, however, Rome's leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents. As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets. The stage was set for destructive civil wars--and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus.

The death of Rome's Republic was not inevitable. In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever.

Edward J. Watts holds the Alkiviadis Vassiliadis endowed Chair and is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. The author and editor of several prize-winning books, including The Final Pagan Generation, he lives in Carlsbad, California.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Ronit Zafran

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Comments

Chinese (simpl.): Beijing Zito Books ; Spanish: Galaxia Gutenberg

Quote: Basic Books

If the central analogy that animates Mortal Republic is correct, the current challenge to America's political system is likely to persist long after its present occupant has left the White House.

Quote: New York Times Book Review

Watts describes how the rise of an economic élite and increasing inequality brought about populist sentiment that was easily exploited by nefarious politicians. The parallels to the present day are striking.

Review: New Yorker

Readers will find many parallels to today's fraught political environment: the powerful influence of money in politics, a "delegitimized establishment," and "the emergence of a personality-driven, populist politicking." Watts ably and accessibly...covers a lot of ground in a manner accessible to all readers, including those with little knowledge of Roman history. This well-crafted analysis makes clear the subject matter's relevance to contemporary political conversations.

Review: Publishers Weekly

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