How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians

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Princeton University Press, Feb 13, 2012 - History - 99 pages
2 Reviews
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A primer on campaigning in ancient Rome that reads like a strategy memo from a modern political consultant

How to Win an Election is an ancient Roman guide for campaigning that is as up-to-date as tomorrow's headlines. In 64 BC when idealist Marcus Cicero, Rome's greatest orator, ran for consul (the highest office in the Republic), his practical brother Quintus decided he needed some no-nonsense advice on running a successful campaign. What follows in his short letter are timeless bits of political wisdom, from the importance of promising everything to everybody and reminding voters about the sexual scandals of your opponents to being a chameleon, putting on a good show for the masses, and constantly surrounding yourself with rabid supporters. Presented here in a lively and colorful new translation, with the Latin text on facing pages, this unashamedly pragmatic primer on the humble art of personal politicking is dead-on (Cicero won)--and as relevant today as when it was written.

A little-known classic in the spirit of Machiavelli's Prince, How to Win an Election is required reading for politicians and everyone who enjoys watching them try to manipulate their way into office.


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User Review  - Benedict8 - LibraryThing

Cicero gives an incredibly concise outline to his brother who is running for office in ancient Rome. The same outline entirely explainsToday's politicians on both sides of the aisle. Clearly people ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Maya47Bob46 - LibraryThing

Extremely relevant and entertaining, modern day candidates would do well to read this and heed the rules laid out by Quintus Cicero. The book has the original Latin facing the English for anyone who wants to work on their Latin skills. Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Philip Freeman is the author of many books, including Oh My Gods: A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar (all Simon & Schuster). He received his PhD from Harvard University and holds the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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