"The only sure thing that can be said about the past is that anyone who can remember Santayana’s maxim is condemned to repeat it. As a result, the danger of not understanding the lessons of history is matched by the danger of using simplistic historical analogies. Those who have learned the lessons of Munich square off against those who have learned the lessons of Vietnam, and then they both invoke the bread-and-circus days of the overstretched Roman empire in an attempt to sound even more subtle and profound."
Amen! to Walter Isaacson's above comment introducing his on the whole favorable review of Are We Rome?: The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America by Cullen Murphy in the New York Times:
Cullen Murphy examines parallels between the United States today and the world of ancient Rome.
The question is: Do we need another of these books? Is it a bandwagon thing?