The End of the Republic

Maccari-Cicero

In his Republic, Cicero produced one of history’s staunchest defenses for a career in politics. Composed in the late 50s B.C. while the Roman republic enjoyed a period of precarious stability under the triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus, and styled after the famous work of Plato, the Republic first addressed the claims of those who want nothing to do with governing the state, and would prefer a quiet life unsullied by politics. Politicians, after all, tend to be “worthless,” according to these critics. Moreover, who would want to try to rule a capricious citizenry, or subject themselves to “foul abuse” from “corrupt and uncivilized opponents?”

Independence by Inches

Tunisia Woman

When the Arab Spring came to Egypt, Hadir, twenty and from a strict Salafist family in Cairo, firmly believed that women must wear the hijab and never mix with men. However, after several days of protests, she ventured out into the streets. She was emboldened by a sense of equality with male protestors, and two months later decided that she would no longer wear the veil. Despite reprisals from her family—they took away her laptop and phone, and only allowed her out of the house for work—Hadir now feels empowered.

Bernard Cornwell’s
Professional Fictions

Bernard Cornwell

We’re over twenty books into the series about Richard Sharpe, a British soldier in the Napoleonic Wars. Four books into the adventures of Nathaniel Starbuck, fighting for the South in the American Civil War—along with three books of Warlord Chronicles, set in the years after Rome’s retreat from the British Isles, and four books about a belated Grail Quest, set during the Hundred Years’ War.