You Can’t Win Without a Winner

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

With electoral politics heating up, I summoned up the new familiar ghost of Caesar. Hail, Caesar. The Republicans seem quite optimistic these days about defeating President Obama in 2012 and winning the White House. Men readily believe what they want. But given the state of the American economy in the Obama years, doesn’t it seem that the Republicans have a …

Barry StraussYou Can’t Win Without a Winner

Never Confess

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

With the financial crisis upending the political scene, I turned for advice once again to the master of crisis management, Julius Caesar. As usual, his ghost was ready to talk. I notice, dictator, that President Obama has not taken the blame for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U. S. credit rating. In fact, his advisor, David Axelrod, went on …

Barry StraussNever Confess

The Man and the Mith

In Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

Look closely at this detail of a tower in Turkey. Most of it is brick and dates from the Byzantine period but the lower courses contain some marble blocks – they are ancient. The marble was reused from an earlier structure, maybe one that stood on the same site. I’d like to think that they come from a fortress that …

Barry StraussThe Man and the Mith

Pivoting

In Caesar's Ghost, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

“Pivot” is the buzzword of the season among political journalists. They report, for instance, that President Obama is “pivoting” to the issue of jobs after the federal debt ceiling debate. Earlier this year they said that Governor Romney was trying to “pivot” from playing defense about his healthcare law in Massachusetts to going on the attack on Obamacare. And we …

Barry StraussPivoting

Doing the Hannibal Haul

In Hannibal's Path, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

During the recent backing and forthing over the Federal debt, did you ever wish that somebody would walk into the room and turn off the sound system? Well, two thousand years ago, Hannibal turned that wish into reality. The year was 202 B.C.E. and the great Carthaginian general had just lost the last major battle of his country’s long war …

Barry StraussDoing the Hannibal Haul