New book on Julius Caesar from Michael Parenti
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 1 06:45:07 MDT 2003
The Assassination of Julius Caesar
A People's History of Ancient Rome
by Michael Parenti
"Parenti . . . recreates the struggles of the late Republic with such
scintillating storytelling and deeply examined historical insight."
"Savagely entertaining ... history at its most provocative ... [a]
lively, lucid tract."
"With laser sharp research and analysis, Michael Parenti burns away
stale orthodoxy and distortion. What a remarkable people's history!"
--Mark Solomon, Professor of History Emeritus, Simmons College
"Provocative and eloquent."
Most historians, both ancient and modern, have viewed the Late Republic
of Rome through the eyes of its rich nobility. They regard Roman
commoners as a parasitic mob, a rabble interested only in bread and
circuses. They cast Caesar, who took up the popular cause, as a despot
and demagogue, and treat his murder as the outcome of a personal feud or
constitutional struggle, devoid of social content. In The Assassination
of Julius Caesar, the distinguished author Michael Parenti subjects
these assertions of "gentlemen historians" to a bracing critique, and
presents us with a compelling story of popular resistance against
entrenched power and wealth. Parenti shows that Caesar was only the last
in a line of reformers, dating back across the better part of a century,
who were murdered by opulent conservatives.
Caesar's assassination set in motion a protracted civil war, the demise
of a five-hundred-year Republic, and the emergence of an absolutist rule
that would prevail over Western Europe for centuries to come.
Parenti reconstructs the social and political context of Caesar's
murder, offering fascinating details about Roman society. In these pages
we encounter money-driven elections, the struggle for economic
democracy, the use of religion as an instrument of social control, the
sexual abuse of slaves, and the political use of homophobic attacks.
Here is a story of empire and corruption, patriarchs and subordinated
women, self-enriching capitalists and plundered provinces, slumlords and
urban rioters, death squads and political witchhunts.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar offers a compelling perspective on an
ancient era, one that contains many intriguing parallels to our own times.
Introduction: Tyrannicide or Treason?
1. Gentlemen's History: Empire, Class, and Patriarchy
2. Slaves, Proletarians, and Masters
3. A Republic for the Few
4. "Demagogues" and Death Squads
5. Cicero's Witchhunt
6. The Face of Caesar
7. "You All Did Love Him Once"
8. The Popularis
9. The Assassination
10. The Liberties of Power
11. Bread and Circuses
Appendix: A Note on Pedantic Citations and Vexatious Names
What readers, editors and other authors are saying about The
Assassination of Julius Caesar
"A wonderful book" Richard Wiebe
"A magnificent read" Peter Livingston
"Fascinating . . . thrilling" Colin Robinson
"Excellent, parts of it are great literature" Carlo Ferretti
"Very impressive. It is a wonderful read! with a very effective use of
humor" Gregory Elich
William Yates of Oneonta, NY , offered these observations with the
book's listing at Amazon.com
"Parenti's discussion of the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar is
radically enlightening. His presentation, like a fork of lightning,
illumines the history of Rome. It's real and revelatory. I understand
the history as I never before did. I can relate it to my life
experiences and give it heft and dimensions because Parenti writes of
and documents very well the crucial forces that were at work. He makes
clear what the "gentlemen historians" with their upper class biases have
so muddled. The words flow clear, the concepts easily grasped. He has a
sweet way with words. He adds a very useful appendix that enables one on
their own to penetrate into the scholarly resources available. An
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