The Fall Of An Empire And The Fate Of America

2131 Words 9 Pages
Are we Rome? Author and current editor at large at Vanity Fair, Cullen Murphy who has previously written about the female role in The Bible, debates this in his 2007 novel, Are we Rome? The Fall of an Empire and The Fate of America. He argues that yes, in fact, we in some ways are making the same mistakes as Ancient Rome. In doing so, he poses a series of questions that might help us better understand how exactly we have come to relate to that once mighty republic that met such a bleak end. Most importantly for us today, he questions if decline and fall lurk somewhere ahead? Throughout this book, Murphy tries to explain the complexities of Roman culture and how the various factors within this society, contributed to the demise of the empire. …show more content…
The book is meant to be a comparison between modern American society and Roman society, in its title, it states that the book is meant to cover, The Fall of an Empire and The Fate of America but it feels as though the book is more of a detailing of how Roman society fits into American culture today. An example of this can be seen in the way he tries to detail stories about old Roman figures, particularly when he recalls the story of Pliny the young. In doing this Murphy fails to offer a clear connection to modern American society. It appears that often Murphy is much more concerned with detailing every aspect of Roman life and its customs that he gets lost within all of the confusing Roman vocabulary. And while these details do help him support his arguments concerning the fall of Rome, Murphy fails to be as detailed and enthusiastic about relating these causes back to the issues present in America today. What Murphy provides in each chapter is effectively, a confusing back in forth of Roman and American commentary that does not connect well with the overall theme. I believe that it would have been much more effectively organized if the book was written with one big idea in mind. With one large scale way in which Roman and American societies related that could be built upon throughout the text, …show more content…
author Cullen Murphy tries to prove that while many of the issues that directly led to the collapse of Rome are now present in the United States, our society still has the ability to counter their effects. Murphy is effective in presenting his arguments as well as accurately defending them with successful research. He also excels at adapting his experience previously writing about the Bible and his work as a magazine editor to skillfully examine Rome and the US to provide insightful opinions on both that are not impeded by any particular bias. However, Murphy ultimately fails at accurately organizing his book to achieve a balance between his assessment of both cultures. Throughout his work, it is clear that Murphy prefers to relate Roman culture over an equal analysis of American society. This hinders his ability to fully address his thesis, he lacks a clear consensus to address the issues he raises about the future of America in the same way he dissects the fall of Rome. I agree with his thesis, I also believe that while we can recognize flaws today in the US, we are still in time to correct ourselves. Through, Murphy leaves the reader unsatisfied by limiting the solutions he proposes for these flaws, which also greatly degrades the literary quality of the

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