• Rome's Last Citizen

  • The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar
  • By: Rob Goodman, Jimmy Soni
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (296 ratings)

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Rome's Last Citizen

By: Rob Goodman,Jimmy Soni
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
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Publisher's Summary

Marcus Porcius Cato: aristocrat who walked barefoot and slept on the ground with his troops, political heavyweight who cultivated the image of a Stoic philosopher, a hardnosed defender of tradition who presented himself as a man out of the sacred Roman past-and the last man standing when Rome's Republic fell to tyranny. His blood feud with Caesar began in the chamber of the Senate, played out on the battlefields of a world war, and ended when he took his own life rather than live under a dictator.

Centuries of thinkers, writers, and artists have drawn inspiration from Cato's Stoic courage. Saint Augustine and the early Christians were moved and challenged by his example. Dante, in his Divine Comedy, chose Cato to preside over the souls who arrive in Purgatory. George Washington so revered him that he staged a play on Cato's life to revive the spirit of his troops at Valley Forge. Now, in Rome's Last Citizen, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni deliver the first modern biography of this stirring figure.

Cato's life is a gripping tale that resonates deeply with our own turbulent times. He grappled with terrorists, a debt crisis, endemic political corruption, and a huge gulf between the elites and those they governed. In many ways, Cato was the ultimate man of principle-he even chose suicide rather than be used by Caesar as a political pawn. But Cato was also a political failure: his stubbornness sealed his and Rome's defeat, and his lonely end casts a shadow on the recurring hope that a singular leader can transcend the dirty business of politics.

Rome's Last Citizen is a timeless story of an uncompromising man in a time of crisis and his lifelong battle to save the Republic.

©2012 Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The authors succeed brilliantly in bringing this fascinating statesman to life." ( Kirkus)

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Unfortunate

This book is a wonderful read and masterfully performed to learn the basics of Cato and the republic of rome. Unfortunately it is not very academic. It cites stories that have long been proven to be apocryphal or at least heavily up for debate (the Roman concept of vena amoris is not widely accepted and believed to be a 17th century invention). This book doesn’t sell itself as academic but I cannot in good conscious recommend it as it will lead readers away from the truth in a very “UnCato” like manner.

10 people found this helpful

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First Rate!

I have read/listened to a wealth of materials on the Roman Republic and have to say this is one of the best - if not the very best - book on the subject.

Goodman & Soni have taken the life of Cato and have not only given a masterful account of his life and his Stoic beliefs but in doing so, have given us a front-row seat on the dying days of the Republic.

The sheer drama and scope of the narrative were riveting. Excellent writing and Derek Perkins - as always - provided suitable gravitas to the story.

Get it. You will not be disappointed.

6 people found this helpful

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Engaging and inspiring

This was a great introduction to the life of Cato the younger. As well as a fun and interesting way to explore the history of Ancient Rome. Amazing the similarities of Roman politics to our own day today. Very well written and very well narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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Who knew?!

This was a riveting listen.
Hours and hours of historical accounts of the political scene in Ancient Rome, and yet, when it was over, I wanted to weep and grow out my hair in mourning. —Not really, but I’d been steeped in Roman etiquette and perspective for so long, it crossed my mind.

This started out as a car listen with my adult daughter, but it finished weeks after our return. I’m more committed than ever to continue my study of stoics and stoicism. I highly recommend this as a fantastically written, beautifully narrated, history book that offers much to readers during the strange times we find ourselves in 2020-2021.

Do yourself a favor. Practice discipline and open your mind and heart to stoicism and the story of this remarkable man—Cato.

2 people found this helpful

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A most fascinating account of Cato the Younger and its lasting impact

The voice of the reader is most pleasant to listen to, which is obviously something key with an audiobook. The book itself, while being a positive account of the exceptional men Cato seems to have been, goes out of its way in so far as trying to be nuanced. By listening to this audiobook you learn quite a good deal about the entire area (with larger than life characters such as Cicero, Caesar, Pompeus and so forth) in which Cato's life and death happened.

2 people found this helpful

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Excelent

The reading is well done. Emotive without overbearing.
the narrative is also well done. It may be a bit long winded for some, but necessary to set the stage for who Cato was. This isn't a fluff piece but an unflinching look at a historical icon and how human he was.

2 people found this helpful

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Top-Notch

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not just Cato. This gives a whole new vantage point on Casear, Pompei, Crassus, and Roman culture at that time. Authors were surprisingly insightful, the story kept momentum, and performed just right.

What other book might you compare Rome's Last Citizen to and why?

I've read The Storm before the Storm and The Roman Way. This was my favorite

1 person found this helpful

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incredible story, very well read

I originally became interested in stoicism as a way of operating and have subsequently become interested in the stoic icons of history. Cato has an incredible story told here, that is well-read and easy to listen to.

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Excellent

A well written story of a man whose example we need more of and would do well to emulate

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Learned a lot on how influential he became

Maybe the most historical figure in the founding of America. He influenced George Washington. Also how a work by Addison defined Cato for the Founding Fathers. It gave them the vocabulary of liberty that we use today.