Mike Duncan is one of the foremost history podcasters in the world. His award winning series The History of Rome chronologically narrated the entire history of the Roman Empire over 189 weekly episodes. Running from 2007-2012, The History of Rome has generated more than 56 million downloads and remains one of the most popular history podcasts on the internet. Duncan has continued this success with his ongoing series Revolutions--which so far has explored the English, American, French, and Haitian Revolutions. Since debuting in September 2013, Revolutions has generated more than 12 million downloads. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of his podcasts, Duncan has led fans on a number of sold-out guided tours of Italy, England, and France to visit historic sites from Ancient Rome to the French Revolution. Duncan also collaborates with illustrator Jason Novak on informative cartoons that humorously explain the historical context for current events. Their work has been featured in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Awl, and Morning News
The Storm Before the Storm is massively entertaining and
relevant to our own time. All times, in fact. War, politics, money,
power, corruption, and class warfare seem to overwhelm the
republican Roman political system and the results are horrifying.
Huge personalities like Marius and Sulla cast a large shadow, but
forces beyond anyone's control seem to drive the narrative. A
chilling reminder of what can happen in any republic. Masterfully
told.--Dan Carlin, host of Hardcore History podcast
A fantastic primer on the causes behind... the things we must be so careful about in our own politics today. Why norms must be respected. Why problems can't be kicked down the road. Why populism is so dangerous. Definitely read this book.--Ryan Holiday, media strategist, writer, and author of The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic and Perennial Seller
A lively, extremely well-informed chronicle of nearly seven decades of Roman political and social life... Drawing on ancient sources as well as modern histories, the author reveals chilling parallels to our own time... Crucial decades in the history of the ancient world vividly rendered.
A stark warning about what can happen to a civilization that has lost its way.--Smithsonian Online
An amazingly enjoyable history... With his fresh approach, Mike Duncan shows that it is important to understand what happened two thousand years ago to understand what is happening now and in the coming centuries.--Washington Book Review
An impressively well written, exceptionally informative, inherently fascinating historical study, The Storm Before the Storm is an extraordinary read from beginning to end.--Midwest Book Review
Disentangles well some complex events others neglect.--Wall Street Journal
Excellent... Award-winning podcaster Duncan proves to be just as effective at working in a written medium, presenting historical personalities and complex situations with clarity and verve.--Library Journal
If you're a fan of Roman history, you will dig this. And if you're just a fan of good storytelling, you will dig this.--Jonah Keri, host of CBS Sports' The Jonah Keri Podcast
Marvelous... A highly enjoyable historical narrative that reads almost like a modern political thriller.--New York Journal of Books
Mike Duncan turns his talent for clear and engaging exposition to an underappreciated period of Roman history: the last days of the Republic, before the rise of Caesar and the agonizing civil wars that yielded the Roman Empire. Duncan's readable and witty style, and his eye for the telling detail and memorable anecdote, carry the reader through a gripping narrative.--Peter Adamson, professor philosophy, LMU Munich, and host of History of Philsophy
Mike Duncan's popular podcast, The History of Rome and Revolutions, packed facts, dry humor and historical parallels into easily digestible 20-minute episodes. His new book, The Storm Before The Storm, focuses on the decades that led up to the fall of the Republic. From income inequality to questions about who does and doesn't deserve citizenship to the rise of populism, it's consistently surprising how the issues we're facing today were relevant two millennia ago. And if you're worried about those parallels, this book provides a dose of reassurance. We're divided, but hey, at least we're not laying siege to our political rivals' cities just yet!--National Public Radio, Best Books of 2017
Never has a book about history that's two millennia old been so timely. Duncan, in the sort of narrative prose that caused his podcasts to electrify history lovers everywhere, tells the story of the decay of Republican Rome-and its contemporary relevance drips off every page. The Storm Before the Storm has everything from vividly portrayed populist demagogues exploiting economic and social inequality to the failure of calcified republican institutions to adapt to changing circumstances. You'll learn as much about the problems we face today from this book as from any newspaper.--Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of Lawfare and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
Remarkably engaging.--Washington Post
This companionable and sprightly book captures the political drama and human passion of that extraordinary story.
Written in Duncan's usual congenial style. He zeros in on Rome's polarization between 'optimates' (conservatives) and 'populares' (populists), the disintegration of participatory democracy, and the concomitant rise in inequality, uncivil discourse, and violence. The parallels with modern times, and particularly contemporary America, leap off the page.
Written with the humor and the storytelling instincts that made him such a popular podcaster, Duncan brilliantly answers a vital question that is rarely asked: What weakened the late Roman Republic enough that it collapsed under the ambitions of the Caesars? This is history as it should be-compelling, witty, and ultimately revealing.--Lars Brownworth, author of In Distant Lands: A Short History of the Crusades