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For Veterans’ Day, a Tale of Rome and Leadership

In Leadership by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

On Veterans’ Day, November 11, public and politicians will thank the men and women who serve and sacrifice for our country – and rightly so. Some of it will be posturing, some of it just talk. The thing is, though, where leadership is concerned, talk is never just talk. A good leader never loses an opportunity to thank people for …

Barry StraussFor Veterans’ Day, a Tale of Rome and Leadership
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March is for Leaders

In Leadership by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

       In the ancient world the waters of March ran red with blood. The month of spring was also the month of war. It was the traditional kick-off of the military season, when legions marched and navies sailed. No wonder Julius Caesar planned to start a vast military campaign in the east during March 44 B.C. The Romans knew what …

Barry StraussMarch is for Leaders
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A Lesson in Humble Leadership, from Caesar

In Leadership, The Death of Caesar by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

Caesar botched his attempt to turn down the throne in his public appearance at the Lupercalia on February 15, 44 B.C. But he did know the value of looking selfless. Five years earlier, when he invaded Italy and set off a civil war, he played the humble leader. The Rubicon was a little stream that marked Italy’s northern border. By …

Barry StraussA Lesson in Humble Leadership, from Caesar
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How Not to Sell a Power Grab

In Leadership, The Death of Caesar by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

February 15, 44 B.C. was the day in which public opinion in Rome took a big swing against Julius Caesar. It was the Lupercalia, an annual religious festival in which men ran through the streets half-naked and lightly touched young women with goatskin thongs. It was all good fun and the Romans thought the gesture would bring fertility. (Writing this …

Barry StraussHow Not to Sell a Power Grab
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Happy Valentine’s Day, Cleopatra

In Leadership, The Death of Caesar by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

She was a strategic genius but she moved the world through love. She was the queen of Egypt in its decline, when Rome ruled the Mediterranean and was ready to snuff out its independence. Yet she almost brought down the Roman Empire. She had an indomitable will and an irresistible charm. As Pascal famously said, if her nose had been …

Barry StraussHappy Valentine’s Day, Cleopatra
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My Take on “300: Rise of an Empire”

In Leadership, Salamis by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

Under the Banner of Women History shows that love and war are not always opposites. Hollywood might not know much about history, but it has an advanced degree in sex and violence. Yet somehow, it can manage a surprising amount of insight into the human condition. A case in point is 300: Rise of an Empire, a sequel to 2006’s hugely …

Barry StraussMy Take on “300: Rise of an Empire”
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Obama, Israel, and the Ides of March

In Leadership by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

  Obama, Israel and the Ides of March It’s just as well that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to reach a coalition deal with his political rivals ahead of this weekend’s deadline. The tough world of Israeli politics has enough metaphorical daggers already without adding the shadow of the Ides of March. Still, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finalizes a …

Barry StraussObama, Israel, and the Ides of March

Some Roads Lead to Rome

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

Kathleen Parker’s op-ed in today’s Washington Post, “All Roads Lead to Rome,” woke up Caesar’s Ghost. “Hail, Professor!” “Hail, Dictator!” Kathleen Parker complains like Cicero, about the times and the mores. Today’s politicians, she says, are constrained “to say as little of substance as possible and to say it often.” The citizenry has become a distracted mob, unable to focus …

Barry StraussSome Roads Lead to Rome