For those looking to escape the hype of the election or not, may I suggest a great whodunit read, with all the innuendo of passion, and intrigue – this books got it. I loved this book, it gave a historical point of view on Political propaganda and the problem with engaging people’s prejudges rather than having them engage in critical thinking.
“A Murder on the Appian Way” by American author Steven Saylor
It is election year 52 BC and Rome has erupted in gang fights on its streets. A prominent political candidate Clodius Pulcher is found murdered on the main road, the Appian Way, the main suspect is the rival candidate Titus Annius Milo. A detective, known in those days as a finder is hired to find the truth after Rome’s Senate building is burned to ashes and the city teeters on the verge of destruction.
The story is rich with legendary powerful superstars of the day such as Caesar, Marc Antony, Pompey, and Cicero, all lurking in the shadows, with whispered gossip of plots and sexual escapes. Gordianus, the finder, his task is to find and bring back the truth out of the chaos, but not without peril to his own life, for a trial, that is explosive and politically motivated by such luminaries as Cicero and Marc Antony.
The power brokers work the cities inhabitants as if chess pieces on a chess board, a city now scared by fear and filled with madness.
From this book came the lesson of why there should be careful deliberation and critical thinking on the parts of voters when making a decision – two paragraphs I have condensed and paraphrased into this sentence is this – “Yes Gordianus … because you went there, you saw, you spoke with witnesses …but the jurors (in our case the voters) will have done none of these things, it is up to me (politicians) to shape their perceptions … truth … if a man could be made to respond as they should by telling them the truth, do you think I would use any other tool?… But the truth is not enough for them; often it is the very worst for a man with a cause (political ambition) …Thus there are men (politicians) who are clever enough to bend the truth … (they think) in order to keep the State free and in one piece.”
I would love to hear from those who read the book. Let me know what you think.