The Modern Scholar: The Tiber and the Potomac: Rome, America, and Empires of Trust

Narrated by: Thomas F. Madden
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Esteemed university professor and best-selling author Thomas F. Madden presents an intriguing series of lectures based on a fascinating premise: that the United States has more in common with the rising Roman Republic than with the declining Roman Empire.

The Tiber and the Potomac explores the amazing parallels between history's two most unusual superpowers. Both nations built empires based on trust, skillfully making friends of enemies. During the course of these lectures, Madden not only reveals these often surprising similarities, but also extracts useful principles from history, including vital lessons from Rome's 100-year struggle with terrorism.

©2008 Thomas F. Madden (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An Important Historical Analysis

Thomas Madden is one of the most knowledgeable historians in the world. All of his lecture series combine a thorough knowledge of history with an explanation of how events are interrelated. I have listened to almost all of his lectures and this one on Empires of Trust is his ultimate work in which he has helped me understand how and why America operates in the world today. Madden is also a good story teller and that made listening to this very important lecture series not only informative but enjoyable.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful lectures by Madden

This was a bit different from some of the lecture series by Prof. Madden, but as usual he delivers a winner. I was initially skeptical about his thesis, but as always right from the beginning enjoyed his erudite style. Over the course of the lecture series, he ended up convincing me. This one touches on a bit more modern politics than he usually does, but whatever your politics - and whether you are more interested in ancient or American history - this will be highly enjoyable.

I listen to Modern Scholar and Great Courses in the evening, and prefer lecturers who I find easy to listen to, aren't shouting, etc. Prof Madden always speaks as if he's sitting around a seminar table or other small lecture setting, and has a pleasant speaking voice.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great lecture

Any additional comments?

I've always wanted to learn more about the Roman Empire and how it is similar to the U.S. This lecture series did a great job of explaining how we view ourselves from within and how the world views us.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Madden at his best

Where does The Modern Scholar rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

Straight to the point, if you are one of those

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lord Peridot
  • Lord Peridot
  • 04-28-18

History repeating itself

Prof. Madden has an informal, natural way of presenting his lectures which makes them easy to listen to and absorb. His basic thesis is that the USA is in many ways a latter day Rome, as the founding fathers had planned. He freely admits various differences but the evidence he does put forward is quite compelling and revealing. Its the empires of these two states that he is referring to and he speaks of similar dynamics having informed their development.

Both states began with empires of trust rather than of conquest, in other words empires based on friendly alliances with other states who were seeking protection. In both cases their empires were started reluctantly as a defensive mechanism following attacks by outside aggressors, Gaul in the case of Rome, Japan in the case of America, but ended up being unrivalled superpowers. Of course, this reading of history conveniently overlooks the Mexican-American war, the Spanish-American war and the conquest of the Native American Indians.

Prof. Madden doesnt say much about economics, abhorrence of rival political systems, nor the influence of the military industrial complex, all of which are surely germane to the growth of the American empire. It would be interesting to know his views on these motivating factors. Were they shared by Rome? But the points he does make are convincing and illuminating. For instance, the countries fought & defeated by the US in WWII, notably Italy, Germany & Japan were not subsequently colonised. They were politically reformed and given generous assistance to recover. That is not the normal pattern in the long & painful history of wars fought by aggressive imperial powers.

1 person found this helpful