Customer Reviews for

Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Rome

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2006

    Some Things Never Change

    This book is a page turner. While provocative in its tone, by showing that history is usually written by members of the ruling elite, with their biases intact, I found it to be very enlightening, and educational. It appears that Caesar was taken down, due in part to his desires for economic and social reform. This book is a definite must read. It will provide you with a whole new way to look at Caesar, history books and modern politics. In the end, you'll come to realize that 2000 years later, some things never change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    Really clarifies Roman history.

    So many history books are just so boring. After reading Michael Parenti's interpretation you understand why. They are mostly distortions and half truths which leave a lot of questions about how things were back then. Parenti fills in the blanks here with explanations that ring of truth. Very engaging and compelling, especially when applying history to present day events.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Somethings Never Change

    This book is a page turner. While provocative in its tone, by showing that history is usually written by members of the ruling elite, with their biases intact, I found it to be very enlightening, and educational. It appears that Caesar was taken down, due in part to his desires for economic and social reform. This book is a definite must read. It will provide you with a whole new way to look at Caesar, history books and modern politics. In the end, you'll come to realize that 2000 years later, some things never change.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2006

    Another point of view

    Not so much a 'lefty history' as another point of view. The author does make a good point in his thesis that you have be careful of what historians write because most came from money and what to protect their status. He is also correct to say that throughout history the people with money write history because they can. When you're poor and worrying about where your next meal is coming from, you certainly are not sitting down to write a scholarly history text. After reading most histories on Rome (contemporary and historical) as well as teaching ancient history he seems to be on target and its nice to see the differing viewpoints because alot of it is just the same material rehashed in a different voice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2009

    Fantastic Read

    I REALLY enjoyed this book. This is my first Parenti book, and I am looking forward to diving further into his writings. This is a very clearly written, and down-right interesting book. I've studied Roman history for a little while now and this offers a fresh, relatable outlook. This is Ancient Rome (mostly just the Republic and the reign of Julius Caesar) not told by the rich, not told by Seutonius, Pliny, Cassius Dio, or any of the aristocratic elements of Rome or today, but told from the point of view of the people. Forget what you've learned about Brutus and Cassius being "honorable Republicans", this book argues that the assassination of Julius Caesar (as well as close to a score of earlier popular reformers) was almost entirely class/wealth related. The Senate feared Caesar's reforms because it would take from the rich and give to the poor. It proves that issues that took place in the Roman Republic are still issues today. Backed up by a plethora of resources, Parenti's book is amazing. It will surely leave you thinking. It showed me how much the republican value system of our own country resembles that of Rome. In all of its glory and its downfalls. Definitely offers insight into the past as well as the present. It is a refreshing, short, and spellbinding book of Roman history. Highly Recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2006

    Marx could not have written it better

    M. Parenti conveniently leaves out facts, which do not agree with his 'progressive' theories. Like Marius' massacre of his former comrades in arms. Or the facts about Clodius, who convinced the mob, that they should annex faraway kingdom of Cyprus, so that they can get free grain. The ruler of Cyprus committed suicide. Or the fact, that subsidized grain was a fact of Roman life long before the Gracchi (see play by Plautus 'Pot of Gold'), and get it for their voters even cheaper, their agents plundered Pergamum, province of Asia. Or that Athens 'pure democracy' without independent juduciary, merged executive and legislative powers, lasted only 50 years, because of vagaries and changing moods of the 'common people', swayed under demagogues like reeds in the wind. Roman Republic was definitely not perfect, but which state is? Benign dictatorship (which seems to me here to be promoted) changes in to bad dictatorship overnight. Of course, Mr. Parenti's website promotes the likes of Engles, and other discredited luminaries. I think he would like to promote Khmer Rouge, because they were all for the 'common people', even so far that they killed all the uncommon people. Intellectuals, like Mr. Parenti, would be the first at the execution wall. However, he takes advantage of good salary, safe life, and free press to promote a system, where he would himself not like to live.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2005

    Lefty history of the late Roman Republic

    Lefty view of the Roman Civil War. Caesar good Senate Bad. Well written and thought provoking. Somewhat anachronistic in emphasizing modern class-warfare motives to ancients with complex attitudes and aims.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2005

    Lefty history of the late Roman Republic

    Left-wing perspective on the Roman Republic and Julius Caesar. Senatorial party bad. Popular party good. By a man whose other writing includes an essay that calls George Bush 'the almost elected President.'

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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