I finished reading “Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic,” by Mike Duncan www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/mi…
Duncan, who is the voice of the History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts, traces the decline of the Roman Republic from the mid-2d Century to the mid 1st Century BCE — from around the time of the Gracchi brothers to the death of Sulla.
The Republic was straining as the middle class and poor struggled against domination by a small, wealthy elite. The nation was shocked to find that the normal ways of doing things in government were just customs, easily swept aside by ruthless, ambitious men. The nation faced an onslaught of outsiders seeking citizenship. Citizens and plebs were rioting in the streets. And the nation was in a constant state of war against enemies abroad.
In other words: Rome was nothing like the US today. This was just light reading.
“Storm Before the Storm” was enjoyable and informative, but I can’t say that I learned any lessons that could be applicable today. The book was a lesson in the saying attributed to Mark Twain: History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.