Weight: 420 g
Aged 48, Marcus Cicero, the greatest orator of his time, is to all appearances a broken man. Out of power, exiled to the eastern Mediterranean with his faithful secretary, Tiro, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, he spends his days tormented by his failure.
But, to quote one of his own famous aphorisms: 'while there's life there's hope'. By promising to support his political enemy, Caesar, he manages to win his return to Italy. Once home, he gradually fights his way back: first in the law courts, then in the senate, and finally by the power of his pen, until at last, for one brief and glorious period, he is once again the dominant figure in Rome.
The long-awaited final volume of Robert Harris's Cicero Trilogy, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history: the collapse of the Roman republic, the subsequent civil war, the murder of Pompey and the assassination of Julius Caesar. Its theme, however, is timeless: how is political freedom to be safeguarded against the triple threats of unscrupulous personal ambition, of an electoral system dominated by vested financial interests, and of the corrupting impact of waging ceaseless foreign wars?
But above all, it is the very human figure of Cicero, beset by family problems, which makes the story so compelling: brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful and yet ultimately brave -- a hero for his time, and for ours.
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