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.
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.
"Were he alive today, no doubt, Quintus would be making big bucks as a political consultant. . . . Speaking to us from a distance of more than two millenniums, Quintus Cicero's words are incisive and revelatory: They remind us that, when it comes to that strange beast known as politics, human nature hasn't changed very much since then. The past, that's right, isn't even past."--Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
"How to Win an Election . . . is a timely new edition for the US 2012 campaign. . . . Most reviewers of How to Win an Election have been struck by its modernity."--Mary Beard, New York Review of Books
"Two thousand years ago, Quintus Tullius Cicero gave his elder brother, Marcus, an unusually frank guide to winning votes--and, on the principle that democracy's brutal essentials have changed little over the centuries, Princeton University Press has now brought out How to Win an Election. . . . [The book] shows that a campaigner's concerns have remained just as constant as the debate about whether any democracy is ever democratic enough."--Peter Stothard, Wall Street Journal
"Just in time for the primaries and the big showdown in November comes the wisdom of the ancients, in this case from Quintus Tullius Cicero, younger brother of Marcus, the greatest ancient Roman orator--perhaps the greatest of all time--who, more than two thousand years ago, ran for the highest office in the Roman Republic."--Steve Levingston, WashingtonPost.com's Political Bookworm blog
"The pamphlet of Quintus Cicero is filled with savvy political soundbites, still relevant today. . . . Some things never change."--Maggie Galehouse, HoustonChronicle.com's Bookish blog
"[Quintus Cicero's] How to Win an Election is a quick, punchy, and thoroughly entertaining read, cleanly translated by Philip Freeman, chairman of the classics department at Luther College . . ."--John Kass, Chicago Tribune
Table of Contents:
A Note on the Translation xxiii
How to Win an Election 1
The Results of the Election 87
Further Reading 97
This book has been translated into:
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Philip Freeman: