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Ancient Rome and Modern America

Ancient Rome and Modern America

Hardback Classical Receptions (Hardcover)

By (author) Margaret Malamud

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Ancient Rome and Modern America explores the vital role the narratives and images of Rome have played in America's understanding of itself and its history. Places America's response to Rome in a historical context, from the Revolutionary era to the present Looks at portrayals of Rome in different media: writing, architecture, theatre, painting, World's Fairs and Expositions, and film Beautifully illustrated with over 40 high quality photographs and figures

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Author information

Margaret Malamud is associate professor of ancient history and Islamic Studies at New Mexico State University. She is co-editor of Imperial Projections: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture (2001).

Review quote

"[Malamud] has done us a noble service as a social historian." (Times Higher Education Supplement, February 2009) "Malamud's analysis provides a key to understanding why the US party system aligns itself with certain issues. To be read by all Americans, as history or a warning. [It is] not just another United States as New Rome, but [has] clear, meaningful comparisons. [It] clarifies our current political trajectory." (About.com (Ancient History Guide), November 2008)

Back cover copy

The idea of Rome as the virtuous Republic undermined by imperial corruption haunts the American imagination. In fact, Roman antiquity is arguably the most abiding cultural companion of the United States. Ever since the Revolutionary era, images and narratives of Rome have played a central role in shaping America's perception of itself. "Ancient Rome and Modern America" explores charged moments in United States history when ancient Rome has been appropriated by disparate groups in order to debate the state of the nation and address internal tensions and anxieties. It shows how portrayals of Rome have been used by various classes and interest groups both to articulate and to contest political and cultural identities. The malleability of tradition and the remarkable continuity of Rome in the American imagination emerge powerfully under Malamud's lens. In this book, we learn as much about America's 'forgotten' history as we do about Rome. This text will appeal to readers interested in alternative views on US history, as well as to those interested in the uses of ancient Rome today.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations. Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1. Exemplary Romans in the Early Republic. 2. Working Men's Heroes. 3. Rome and the Politics of Slavery. 4. Corporate Caesars and Radical Reformers. 5. Manifest Virtue. 6. The Pleasures of Empire. 7. Screening Rome During the Great Depression. 8. Cold War Romans. 9. Imperial Consumption. Epilogue. Bibliography. Filmography. Index