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Foundation (Foundation, #1)
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2012 Reads > FOUND: Asimov's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire...In Space!

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Daran | 599 comments So, when I read this book for the first time, I was struck by how much it was like Edward Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." I learned a little later, it was an allegory. At the time I thought it was a bit underhanded to steal from Gibbon. When I was younger, I didn't get the point of satire or allegory.

As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate just how brilliant Asimov was. Not only does this book explain Gibbon's very dry theories on the Dynastic Cycle and why Rome fell in an entertaining (and much shorter) way, the putting it in a science fiction context makes the warning to modern society that much clearer.

Most science fiction of this type carries a warning. I think the warning here is about the inevitable decline of all great societies. Of course, for every Dark Age there is a promise of a renaissance

message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne | 336 comments AlsoSpengler'sdeclineof the West and, of course, the original source ideas of both - Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah.

Daran | 599 comments I wasn't aware of a thematic link between Gibbon and Khaldun's histories. I read Muqaddimah, hurriedly, in college. I'll have to reread it.

It's amazing how long people have been observing these patterns in civilizations. And how long people have beem ignoring those patterns.

Chad Kohalyk (chadkoh) | 13 comments +1 for mentioning Ibn Khaldun

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