Recently I found a podcast series, The History of Rome, which is a very entertaining, well-researched series from Rome's founding, still in progress.
The parallels between the US and Rome are striking, much of our governance and judicial systems are based on those of Rome, with some major improvements. (Maybe we need more?)
The historical parallels run beyond that, for example, in our choice of commanders in chief. Nero was the spoiled child of rich and powerful parents, no real military experience, and easily manipulated by those around him. After a very short-lived emperors, he was succeeded by Vespasian, who was competent and honest.