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Extended Audio Sample Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician, by Anthony Everitt Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Everitt Narrator: John Curless Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“All ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher combined.”—John Adams

He squared off against Caesar and was friends with young Brutus. He advised the legendary Pompey on his somewhat botched transition from military hero to politician. He lambasted Mark Antony and was master of the smear campaign, as feared for his wit as he was for exposing his opponents’ sexual peccadilloes. Brilliant, voluble, cranky, a genius of political manipulation but also a true patriot and idealist, Cicero was Rome’s most feared politician, one of the greatest lawyers and statesmen of all times. Machiavelli, Queen Elizabeth, John Adams, and Winston Churchill all studied his example. No man has loomed larger in the political history of mankind.

In this dynamic and engaging biography, Anthony Everitt plunges us into the fascinating, scandal-ridden world of ancient Rome in its most glorious heyday. Accessible to us through his legendary speeches but also through an unrivaled collection of unguarded letters to his close friend Atticus, Cicero comes to life in these pages as a witty and cunning political operator.

Cicero leapt onto the public stage at twenty-six, came of age during Spartacus’ famous revolt of the gladiators and presided over Roman law and politics for almost half a century. He foiled the legendary Catiline conspiracy, advised Pompey, the victorious general who brought the Middle East under Roman rule, and fought to mobilize the Senate against Caesar. He witnessed the conquest of Gaul, the civil war that followed and Caesar’s dictatorship and assassination. Cicero was a legendary defender of freedom and a model, later, to French and American revolutionaries who saw themselves as following in his footsteps in their resistance to tyranny.

Anthony Everitt’s biography paints a caustic picture of Roman politics—where senators were endlessly filibustering legislation, walking out, rigging the calendar, and exposing one another’s sexual escapades, real or imagined, to discredit their opponents. This was a time before slander and libel laws, and the stories—about dubious pardons, campaign finance scandals, widespread corruption, buying and rigging votes, wife-swapping, and so on—make the Lewinsky affair and the US Congress seem chaste.

Cicero was a wily political operator. As a lawyer, he knew no equal. Boastful, often incapable of making up his mind, emotional enough to wander through the woods weeping when his beloved daughter died in childbirth, he emerges in these pages as intensely human; yet he was also the most eloquent and astute witness to the last days of Republican Rome.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Excellent…Cicero comes across much as he must have lived: reflective…charming and rather vain…Everitt does a good job of bringing Cicero and his age to life.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Mr. Everitt introduces the man graciously to a new generation.”

    Economist

  • “Everitt is an attentive biographer who continuously rehearses and refines his account of the motives of his subject…His achievement is to have replaced the austere classroom effigy with an altogether rounder, more awkward, and human person.”

    Financial Times

  • “Anthony Everitt’s authoritative biography of the legendary Roman politician Cicero–a constant thorn in the side of one Emperor Julius Caesar—brings the world he inhabited to vibrant, fascinating life.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “Everitt…is a brilliant guide to the intricacies of Roman politics…[He] has written a book which is unobtrusively crammed with fascinating information about Roman life and customs, splendidly clear and coherent in tits narrative, and altogether convincing in its portraiture.”

    Independent (Dublin)

  • “Everitt is a skillful, deft, articulate, and often humorous expositor…one who is at home in the ancient world and able to communicate to readers of the present time.”

    Seattle Times Post Intelligencer

  • “A brilliant study that captures Cicero’s internal struggles and insecurities as well as his external political successes.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • ”[A] masterful biography.”

    Booklist

  • “Narrator John Curless brings considerable skill and an actor’s insight to this biography of the famous lawyer, orator, politician, and writer. His pleasingly cultured British accent and likable voice, joined to a fine understanding and lack of affectation, keep the text comprehensible throughout the complex and intense politics of the last period of the Roman Republic. He acts when appropriate, as in quotations from Cicero’s letters, subtly conveying an intelligent, spoiled, self-regarding, upper-class wit, which fits the man as we know him. It’s an amusing and sly depiction using very slender means to good effect. An admirable use of talent, without showiness, in service to a text, brings this otherwise effective reading to a higher level of achievement.”

    AudioFile

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About the Author
Author Anthony Everitt

Anthony Everitt, visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture and is the author of Cicero and Augustus. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain. He lives near Colchester, England’s first recorded town, founded by the Romans.