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Nothing New Under the Sun, Especially With Leviathan A Review of Morgan Wade’s The Last Stoic

The Last Stoic is his novelistic answer. It presents two boys, one named Marcus who’s a subject of the Roman Empire and the other, Mark, living in the American one. Eighteen hundred years may separate these doppelgangers, but their lives and experiences with tyranny mimic one another so closely that by the novel’s end, only one merged character remains. Our twin heroes, Marcus and Mark, are young adults when we meet them, about to embark on their careers. Both emigrate from small towns on their respective empire’s periphery to their capitals. Marcus travels from Britannia to a Rome that Emperor Caracallus "protects" after the barbarians’ incursion with domestic spying; increasing controls on what citizens may say, do and even believe; and torture for dissidents. Those same evils flourish in the 21st century when George Bush exploits 9/11 as Mark drives from Canada to New York City. Yet enough prosperity and glamour remain in each nation for our duo of outsiders to promise themselves

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