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Xenophon's Cyrus the Great: The Arts of Leadership and War Paperback – April 3, 2007
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“Xenophone's Cyrus--the earliest book on the subject--is still the best book on leadership.” ―Peter F. Drucker
From the Back Cover
The Iranians came to regard Cyrus as "The Father," the Babylonians as "The Liberator," and the Jews as "The Anointed of the Lord." The Greeks called him "The Law Giver," and, a century after Cyrus's death, an admiring Xenophon of Athens wrote an epic account of his many leadership principles at war and at peace.
By freshening the voice, style, and diction that Xenophon ascribed to Cyrus, Larry Hedrick has fashioned a more immediate Cyrus. A new generation of readers, including executives, managers, and military officers, can now learn from Cyrus's unparalleled leadership and wisdom in Xenophon's classic narrative.
Top customer reviews
The book may weigh down the interest of those who are not interested in military strategy, as some sections lean quite heavily towards that direction. However the last few chapters are just gold, leaving you with that warm, happy feeling as Cyrus leaves this world. The advice on principles of life imparted by Cyrus in the last few chapters are very insightful and speak to humans of all ages. He was truly a very insightful and ambitious man. As a previous reviewer has pointed out, the book portrays Cyrus as being an elitist whereas he had read in a history book of Cyrus being raised up by shepherds and being a man of the people. Im not sure which is correct, but Xenophons account is not a literal historical account of the man I believe, but more so a recount of the lasting legacy and impact he had as a leader to a land as far away as Greece, where Xenophon lived.
All in all it is a great account by Xenophon, with many insightful and inspirational one liners and principles, which really can be applied in all situations of life.
Another issue is it's too much like lectures to teach corporate leaders or people who want to be a leader. From the beginning, words like 'organization' comes out, and it took me right out of the ancient world. I don't know if it's the author's meddling, or Xenophon was a 21st century ancient man or what. It was like attending current day leadership classes. So, I would say it is stripped of ancient flavors and colors.
Well, to tell the truth, I've read the first 10 pages or so, and got stuck. I'm trying to get back to reading it, but it just doesn't have the power to bring me back to it. Maybe it's because I had just finished reading Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine, which was a rich historical novel with characters like Xenophon, Socrates, Plato, Phaedo, etc. The characters really come alive. Also I'd read REnault's Persian Boy, in which Alexander and the boy Bagoas discuss Cyrus. Both books had so much colors and flavors and I truly lived in the world they lived in. That's not the case of this book.
The narrative voice is more for the younger people, like high school level, but the subject matters are for grownups. Over all, it is an endearing attempt on the author's part. It just didn't work for me.
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