Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Primitive tribes helped topple the powerful Roman Empire. Did attacks on the U.S. by Islamist extremists 20 years ago augur the end of a superpower? The Statue of Liberty and New York City’s skyline as smoke rises from the ruins of the Twin Towers, four days...

We often hear that history repeats itself. A core tenet of News Decoder’s mission is to help students place current events in a broader historical context. Correspondent Gene Gibbons looks beyond today’s headlines all the way back to ancient Rome to show how pride, corruption, strategic overreach and other political mistakes have contributed to the decline of superpowers, then and now.

Exercise: Ask students to debate the question in the headline, providing evidence for their position.

I went to school with Joe Biden. He’ll be a caring leader.

I went to school with Joe Biden. He’ll be a caring leader.

Joe Biden and I grew up in the same city. He was upright in school and on the playground. He’ll be a caring leader as U.S. president. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden visiting his childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, 23 October 2019 (Jason Farmer/The...

A lot of ink has been spilled about Joe Biden’s background, but how many authors played sandlot baseball with the U.S. President-elect? News Decoder correspondent Gene Gibbons covered six presidents while at Reuters, but he grew up with Biden, and his reminiscences of their upbringing in Pennsylvania capture key qualities of the next U.S. leader. It’s the details — the nicknames the schoolmarm gave her students, Biden’s phone call to the same teacher — that enliven the story. Without hyperbole or boasting, Gibbons tells a story that packs a punch and highlights Biden’s journey from a vacant lot — “mostly dirt and cinders” — to the White House.

Jimmy Who?

Jimmy Who?

When Jimmy Carter ran for U.S. President, he capitalized on the fact he was little-known, adopting the campaign slogan, “Jimmy Who?” When Jimmy Carter ran for President of the United States 39 years ago, he capitalized on the fact that he was a little-known former...

Author: Gene Gibbons