What America Can Learn from Rome's Collapse into Tyranny

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Edward Watts is the author of "Mortal Republic." (Photo: KatharineCalandra)

Historian Edward Watts' new book "Mortal Republic" begins in the third century BC, when Rome developed democratic institutions that allowed it to expand its territory, grow economically and remain politically stable. But by the late second century economic inequality coupled with politicians' "constitutional trickery" led to violence and ultimately, to civil war. Watts joins Forum to talk about the collapse of Roman democracy and what it illuminates about today's political realities.


Edward Watts, author, "Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny"; professor of history, UC San Diego