All Great Civilizations Fall. Is America Next?
Nov 14, 2019
At its height, in the year A.D. 177, the Roman Empire seemed all but invincible. It was the most expansive political and social structure in Western civilization. Then it fell, in a manner so spectacular and swift as to belie its greatness.
Could the same fate be in store for America? In a new episode of The Idea File, staff writer James Fallows explores the possibility that the collapse of our superpower may be imminent—but that may not be a bad thing. “The end of America as we know it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of America,” Fallows says.
In deconstructing the events that led to Rome’s collapse, Fallows argues that by exiting the world’s stage, Rome paved the way for a rebirth of sorts. “Some things were lost,” he says. “But other things were created and became possible.”
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Authors: Vishakha Darbha, Jackie Lay, Catherine Spangler, Sophia Myszkowski
About This Series
Deconstructing the way we live, with The Atlantic's writers