Empires of Trust: How Rome Built--and America Is Building--a New World

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Overview

A tale of two superpowers unique in the history of the world, offering a totally original comparison of the United States and ancient Rome: celebrating similarities and delivering urgent insights into America's current crises.

Does America face the same destiny endured by ancient Rome? Is the U.S. military overextended? Does the separation of church and state strengthen or weaken a geopolitical powerhouse? Is the United States just another Empire of Conquest being corrupted by ...

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Empires of Trust: How Rome Built--and America Is Building--a New World

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Overview

A tale of two superpowers unique in the history of the world, offering a totally original comparison of the United States and ancient Rome: celebrating similarities and delivering urgent insights into America's current crises.

Does America face the same destiny endured by ancient Rome? Is the U.S. military overextended? Does the separation of church and state strengthen or weaken a geopolitical powerhouse? Is the United States just another Empire of Conquest being corrupted by its own power? Of late, it is not only historians who have been asking these questions. Thomas Madden, an award-winning professor of history, now shows almost everything we thought we knew about Rome to be wrong, and revolutionizes our understanding of what a good world empire can be.

Taking readers on a dramatic tour of the Roman Republic, a golden era before the depravities of the Caesars and late Empire, Madden uncovers a peaceful, retiring people who above all wanted to be left alone to enjoy their own families and communities, maintaining the rural traditions of their forebears. But external threats required them to establish security, which they did by creating superlative military forces and transforming defeated enemies into friends. Trust, not brutality, was the key ingredient. All other empires since have been Empires of Conquest—until now.

Beginning with a Roman story strikingly parallel to the American Abu Ghraib scandal, Madden provides a much needed historical context to our burning contemporary debates. The United States can be an empire of trust, and Madden is on a mission to get pundits, candidates, and other election-year spectators—which means all of us—to recognize this profound duty.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615544318
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/17/2008
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas F. Madden is a professor of history and chair of the department of history at Saint Louis University. His previous books include The New Concise History of the Crusades, currently the bestselling book on its subject in the world, and Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice, recipient of the Otto Gründler Prize. He has been featured in the media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, A&E television, The History Channel, PBS, and National Public Radio.

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Table of Contents

1 Empires of Trust ... and the Other Ones 1

2 Distrusting Kings 21

3 Family Values 38

4 Building an Empire While Trying Not To 63

5 Becoming a Superpower 85

6 The Empire and Its Aging Cultural Parents 113

7 How an Empire of Trust Grows ... and Grows 160

8 Pax 196

9 Fights Around the Dinner Table of Empire 230

10 The Threat of Terrorism 251

11 Crying Over the Fall 290

A Note on Sources 299

Notes 301

Bibliography 313

Acknowledgments 321

Index 323

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