How to Run a Country

An Ancient Guide for Modern Leaders

Publication date: January 23, 2013

Marcus Cicero, Rome’s greatest statesman and orator, was elected to the Roman Republic’s highest office at a time when his beloved country was threatened by power-hungry politicians, dire economic troubles, foreign turmoil, and political parties that refused to work together. Sound familiar? Cicero’s letters, speeches, and other writings are filled with timeless wisdom and practical insight about how to solve these and other problems of leadership and politics. How to Run a Country collects the best of these writings to provide an entertaining, common sense guide for modern leaders and citizens. This brief book, a sequel to How to Win an Election, gathers Cicero’s most perceptive thoughts on topics such as leadership, corruption, the balance of power, taxes, war, immigration, and the importance of compromise. These writings have influenced great leaders–including America’s Founding Fathers–for two thousand years, and they are just as instructive today as when they were first written.

Organized by topic and featuring lively new translations, the book also includes an introduction, headnotes, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an appendix containing the original Latin texts. The result is an enlightening introduction to some of the most enduring political wisdom of all time.

 

Reviews:

How to Win an Election was a delight–and How to Run a Country is even better. Cicero’s acute observations about how to govern will resonate with everyone who recognizes that the tribalism, ideological extremism, and coarsened culture of politics today urgently need to change.”—Norman J. Ornstein, coauthor of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

“Cicero’s words live forever. In these carefully chosen and well-translated selections on leadership, classicist Philip Freeman offers an astute introduction to one of history’s noblest minds.”—Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership

“If Freeman’s selection of the lessons on offer in Cicero’s oeuvre sounds like a reproach to the current American political system, then you’ve got the idea. His book is a collection of tidbits, of course, but if it sends its readers on a journey into Cicero’s world it will have achieved Freeman’s main purpose: the creation of a citizen-reader who is a little bit more thoughtful about politics than they were before.”—Inside Story

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