Next on the queue: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and A Great and Terrible Beauty , which is a YA novel by Libba Bray. That of course is from my daughter's personal collection. I saw the author on a webcast and she seemed kind of funny.
One thing I'll say for Caesar, however, is that it's amazing how little things have changed in two thousand years. Empires always seem to head in the same general direction.
While I was in New York, I attended one dinner where Ari Fleischer (Bush's PR flak) was the keynote speaker. I was anticipating losing my dinner during the speech, but while it was biased (of course), I have to admit, it wasn't as acerbic as I was anticipating and also, he actually said some things I didn't disagree with. Such as: Obama's re-election hopes are directly tied to the monthly unemployment numbers.
I think there's a legitimate question as to how far those numbers will go down in the next few years, no matter what happens. Lots of big corporations have found it a tasty habit to outsource a lot of America's mainstay jobs, and no matter who's in charge, it's unlikely that's going to change. That's just the way things are in our little version of res publica.
I guess that's the way of all empires, isn't it? In Caesar's days, the Romans didn't grow the grain for their own bread...they outsourced it out to the Egyptians. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
The other comment Fleischer made that I found interesting was that he didn't think there was any chance in hell that Sarah Palin would be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012. Even just saying her name evoked a huge round of laughter from everyone in the room, right and left-wingers alike. I think that speaks volumes.