THIS WAS CICERO by H. J. Haskell


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A swell job, with tremendous research well lighted by contemporary allusions, and enlivened by absorbed enthusiasm for the subject. Haskell has given us a biography of the writer-statesman-philosopher that is a 2,000 year composite survey of the man, his career, the period in which he lived, the conspicuous individuals and the spectacular events that coincided with him. A comparison of the Roman Republic to 18th century England leads to Cicero's boyhood in the country, his law studies in Rome, his early fame from a first murder case. Then his career in politics, the bar, and the toss-up between the old and the new, represented by Cicero and Caesar -- and the outcome. Neither glossing over nor muckracking, this presents a balance of speculation, interpretation, facts that result in a comprehensive study of an important Roman. Perhaps a plus sale for school libraries, with the idea that here is a book which makes second and third year Latin come alive.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1942
Publisher: Knopf