sorrows   The late Chalmers Johnson knew how to write a pithy introduction:

     “American leaders now like to compare themselves to imperial Romans, even though they do not know much of Roman history.  The main lesson the United States ought to be how the Roman Republic evolved into an empire, in the process destroying its system of elections for its two consuls (its chief executives), rendering the Roman senate impotent, ending forever the occasional popular assemblies and legislative comitia that were at the heart of republican life, and ushering in permanent military dictatorship. “

Yeah, first paragraph, first chapter.  Boom!

I just started this cheerful read of a book, catch the review here.  I’ll probably need something a little more uplifting after this one, the next on the list is The Handmaiden’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.