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How to Run a Country:
An Ancient Guide for Modern Leaders
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Selected, translated, and with an introduction by Philip Freeman

Hardcover | 2013 | $12.95 | £10.95 | ISBN: 9780691156576
152 pp. | 4 1/2 x 7
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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.


"Edited by Philip Freeman, How to Run a Country is a brief introduction to Cicero's political philosophy. . . . [I]t contains--in English and Latin--fragments from Cicero's books and speeches, as well as letters to friends and colleagues. . . . [Cicero's] views on war and immigration will strike many readers as modern and sane."--Richard King, Australian

"[A] delightful little book."--John Wilson, Christianity Today

"[Freeman's] 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 citizen-readers who are a little bit more thoughtful about politics than they were before."--Brett Evans, Inside Story

"Freeman frees the material from its context, selecting excerpts whose content is thought provoking on its own terms, and which demonstrate Cicero's outlook as a thinker in general. Freeman's book is an entry-point, an introduction; while it is simply too short . . . to provide much traction for students in a typical college course, I certainly hope it will be successful in introducing Cicero to a wider audience."--Joanna Kenty, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Organized by topic and featuring lively new translations, the book also includes an introduction, head notes, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading. The result is an enlightening introduction to some of the most enduring political wisdom of all time."--World Book Industry


"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

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Table of Contents:

Introduction vii

How to Run a Country 1

  • Natural Law 1
  • Balance of Power 4
  • Leadership 6
  • Friends and Enemies 16
  • Persuasion 24
  • Compromise 30
  • Money and Power 36
  • Immigration 43
  • War 46
  • Corruption 49
  • Tyranny 56
  • Cicero's Epilogue: The Fallen State 66

Latin Texts 68
Passages Translated 115
Glossary 121
Further Reading 131

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