The Decline and Fall of the United States of America Part 1

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Drake counters:. With such deft strokes, Gibbon enters into a conspiracy with his readers: unlike the credulous masses, he and we are cosmopolitans who know the uses of religion as an instrument of social control. So doing, Gibbon skirts a serious problem: for three centuries prior to Constantine, the tolerant pagans who people the Decline and Fall were the authors of several major persecutions, in which Christians were the victims.

Gibbon covered this embarrassing hole in his argument with an elegant demur. Others such as John Julius Norwich , despite their admiration for his furthering of historical methodology, consider Gibbon's hostile views on the Byzantine Empire flawed and blame him somewhat for the lack of interest shown in the subject throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Gibbon's initial plan was to write a history " of the decline and fall of the city of Rome ", and only later expanded his scope to the whole Roman Empire:. If I prosecute this History , I shall not be unmindful of the decline and fall of the city of Rome; an interesting object, to which my plan was originally confined.

Although he published other books, Gibbon devoted much of his life to this one work — His autobiography Memoirs of My Life and Writings is devoted largely to his reflections on how the book virtually became his life. He compared the publication of each succeeding volume to a newborn child. Gibbon continued to revise and change his work even after publication. The complexities of the problem are addressed in Womersley's introduction and appendices to his complete edition. Many writers have used variations on the series title including using "Rise and Fall" in place of "Decline and Fall" , especially when dealing with large nations or empires.

Piers Brendon notes that Gibbon's work "became the essential guide for Britons anxious to plot their own imperial trajectory. They found the key to understanding the British Empire in the ruins of Rome. Tepper gave one of her novels the title Gibbon's Decline and Fall.

In , an established journal of classical scholarship, Classics Ireland , published punk musician's Iggy Pop 's reflections on the applicability of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to the modern world in a short article, Caesar Lives , vol. America is Rome. Of course, why shouldn't it be? We are all Roman children, for better or worse I learn much about the way our society really works, because the system-origins — military, religious, political, colonial, agricultural, financial — are all there to be scrutinised in their infancy. I have gained perspective.

The criticisms upon his book In accuracy, thoroughness, lucidity, and comprehensive grasp of a vast subject, the History is unsurpassable. It is the one English history which may be regarded as definitive. Whatever its shortcomings, the book is artistically imposing as well as historically unimpeachable as a vast panorama of a great period.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the book. For the historiography spawned by Gibbon's theories, see Historiography of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Retrieved This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. Please make it easier to conduct research by listing ISBNs.

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October Strahan and T. Strahan and Cadell.

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Melancholy Duty. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. New York: Penguin. New York: Penguin Books. Dictionary of National Biography. A vindication of some passages in the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire: By the author.

Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, in the Strand.

IV, eds. Jackson, et al. Grand Rapids, Mich. Project Gutenberg.

American decline

Foster Burns, Oates and Washbourne. Edward Gibbon, Luminous Historian. Children born into poor families have a hard time making it into the middle class as adults, more so in the U. These findings belie the very American idea that mobility is based only on hard work and merit. While the mobility and income trends reported above are concerning enough, they mask an even more troubling story for Black and Hispanic households:.

Still, gains were larger for white and Hispanic households:. But will it remain racially diverse? Recent work by Raj Chetty and his colleagues shows that while Hispanics have relatively high rates of upward mobility, black Americans are less likely to move up the income ladder and more likely to fall down it.

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This trend is largely explained by the remarkably high rates of downward mobility among black men. Among those born into the middle-income quintile, over half of black boys fall into the bottom two quintiles as adults, compared to 40 percent of Hispanics and just over one-third of white men:. Downward mobility is much less common for black girls, suggesting a complicated interaction between being both black and male. These mobility gaps by race can be attributed to various sources, including poverty, family structure, social capital, segregation and racial discrimination.

As the recent Chetty et al. But these neighborhoods are few in number. Racial bias was measured by scores on implicit bias tests and indices of explicit racial bias expressed in Google searches. Place matters. Where you end up depends a great deal not just on your family background and your race but also on where you grew up.

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The chance that a child born in the bottom quintile will make it to the top quintile as an adult ranges from around 4 percent in Charlotte to 13 percent in San Jose. Alongside the diverging destinies of individuals is a great divergence in the prosperity of whole communities and regions of the country. Employment and economic growth is far from consistent from one metropolitan or rural area to the next. Because various parts of the country are home to different industries and occupations, trade and technology have had differential impacts by region. For the first time, the rural population is actually shrinking.

This, alongside the declining role of manufacturing and mining, means that employment growth, an important contributor to overall economic growth, is waning in many parts of the country:. Most Americans are unlikely to pore over the latest intergenerational mobility statistics. This lack of optimism for the future is echoed in other signs of social distress.

As our colleague Carol Graham documents in her book Happiness for All? In fact, blacks and Hispanics are generally more optimistic than whites , conditional on income. This points to the importance of relative status. Black and Hispanic Americans might be materially disadvantaged compared to whites, but they have experienced at least some upward movement over the past several decades, while many poor and middle-class whites might feel that their relative status in society has actually declined over the same time period. The evidence that social wellbeing is declining among many Americans, particularly whites, extends beyond the survey data.