Dictator

Dictator

Large Print - 2016
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"Laws are silent in times of war." (Cicero). There was a time when Cicero held Caesar's life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero's life is in ruins. Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles. His comeback requires wit, skill and courage - and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome. But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others. Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man - a hero for his time and for ours.
Publisher: Farmington Hills, Michigan :, Gale Cengage Learning,, 2016.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410488565
141048856X
Characteristics: 679 pages

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tjdickey
Jul 08, 2017

The third and culminatory installment in Harris' Cicero series takes us through the Triumvirate, the Roman Civil War, and the aftermath of the murder of Julius Caesar, and reminds us that dirty politics are not new! On the contrary, Harris' eloquent defense (in the words of Cicero) of the freedoms of a democratic republic, and for the rule of law and the division of powers, resonate as loudly more than two thousand years after the seismic shocks to Western civilization depicted in the Fall of the Roman Republic.

w
whitcombs2do
May 22, 2017

I'm stealing a section of a lengthy review I wrote for Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome 7 book series. I loved her books, and said of them:

" If you're interested in popularized Roman history, this is a treasure. The writing is good, if not quite up to the standard of Robert Graves' two volume set "I, Claudius," and "Claudius the God," or Robert Harris' Cicero trilogy. If you have read and enjoyed any of these, however, you MUST read them all - in chronological order, of course. It is particularly interesting that McCullough seems more or less in the Caesar-worshipping camp. He was a prodigy; he was too good at too many things, which in the end had a lot to do with his downfall. But what a magnificent creature he was!

However, Cicero was Caesar's mortal enemy, and Robert Harris' books tell much of the same story as we find in McCullough - from a diametrically opposed point of view."

And it's true, Harris is a more subtle and nuanced narrator. Perhaps it has partly to do with the narrator's voice, which is that of Tiro, Cicero's secretary. It lends immediacy and personal intensity, and can be an excellent literary device. Remember Watson and Holmes, Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolf.

I wish Harris had stretched it to four books.

f
frankmorris
Nov 16, 2016

Great read of the "couldn't put it down" variety. Harris has a knack for bringing these ancient names to life. They seem very modern indeed. Harris' principles of power, sprinkled throughout, are thought provoking.

b
Basileus
Aug 05, 2016

Enjoyable final novel in the Cicero trilogy which deals with the end of the Roman Republic and how Cicero handles a situation which has become beyond his control.

Mardian Feb 22, 2016

Really satisfying to read the third of the trilogy and find it even better that the preceding two.

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