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Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today . . . and the Lessons We All Can Learn

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Parochial, Error-Prone Leadership Guide of Limited Value

    Steve Forbes and John Prevas intend to draw parallels between six political military leaders from the ancient Mediterranean world and (American) business leaders. Unfortunately, the authors fail to deliver on the expectations that this book generates for a number of reasons. First, the book under review contains a number of typos. Think for example about the contradictory dates given for the reigns of Persian rulers, Cyrus the Great (pp. 17; 43) and Darius II (pp. 20; 71). Secondly, Messrs. Forbes and Prevas make some statements that at best lack nuance and at worst are prejudiced. Think for example about the following statement: "No one today ever asks whether he (read Hannibal) won or lost his war with Rome (p. 156)." Another pearl is the following statement: "The governments of those countries (read Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan) have shown little interest in the periods of their history that predate Islam and have made little effort to preserve many of the fragile and vulnerable sites within their borders (p. 13)." The authors would benefit from watching for example the DVD "Persepolis: Re-Discovering the Ancient Persian Capital of Modern Day Iran" that is on sale on Barnes & Noble. Furthermore, Messrs. Forbes and Prevas would also benefit from getting familiar with the activities of the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran. Thirdly, the book under review seems to be almost completely oblivious to the importance of learning from foreign business leaders, especially those outside the Western world. Only a few of these business leaders who did not grow up in the U.S. are given any explicit mention, i.e., French-born Jean-Marie Messier (Vivendi SA), Australian-born Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation), and Indian-born Vikram Pandit (Citigroup) (pp. 33; 135-136; 247). There are a few foreign companies mentioned besides Vivendi SA, i.e., Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V. and NTT DoCoMo Inc. (pp. 159-160; 251). The almost exclusive focus on American business leaders is baffling to any (business) reader at the beginning of the 21st century C.E. Finally, Messrs. Forbes and Prevas systematically stretch their analogies between these six political military leaders and (American) business leaders to convey their message. What would have been much more valuable to a business audience is to show how business leaders at different periods and in different locations tackle some recurring business challenges. In conclusion, the book under review is of not much use in an increasingly globalized world, mainly because of its parochial, non-actionable nature.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    Reindeer Stables

    Vixen trotted in with Rudolph and found er stall.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    Quite Interesting

    This book was very interesting. The weakest points were the sometimes vague connections of the ancient leaders to modern day CEO's. There were no gigantic leaps, but it seemed as though the CEO's that were chosen were one of many other CEO's that have been in similar shoes. However, the writing was very well done and the connections between characters provided adequate breaks from "pure learning" to somewhat creative and intriguing. I would recommend this book mostly to those willing to learn more about the leadership style of certain ancient leaders as that seems to be where the bulk of attention was spent writing on.

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  • Posted February 11, 2010

    Steve Forbes surely didn't write this

    I'm astounded to see Steve Forbes claim authorship of this book (published the same year as his "How Capitalism Will Save Us"), when it's so obviously a work by his co-author, John Prevas, who has also written "Hannibal Crosses the Alps" and "Envy of the Gods: Alexander the Great's Ill-fated Journey Across Asia." It would be one thing for Mr. Forbes to support or underwrite such a book, but to put his name on the front? What has transformed him into a scholar and ancient historian?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    leadership lessons of great leaders

    "power ambition glory" is a very fasinating bestseller and very hard to put down. the ceo bussiness man and presidential candidate steve forbes has put together a very indepth study of many world leaders and there winning secrets and short comings this is a fasinating read and everyone can learn from these great people and their lifes and its things that you dont learn from a history book but its things learn from your bussiness or your life.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Makes history come alive!

    Human nature doesn't change. The ancient conquerors still live today. This book clearly shows this.

    I liked most is the way this book was written, making history come alive and very interesting.

    Well written.

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting History/Travel Book

    Even if one has visited Jamestown, Virginia and St. Augustine, Florida, this easy to read book is full of interesting episodes of history mixed with the author's travels. The well told story helps fill the gaps in the story of America which seems to go from the pilgrims to the War for Independence in most histories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling and Relevant History Lesson

    As a current corporate director of human resources, I am on a continual quest for books on leadership. That is, "good" books on leadership. I am especially interested in those that draw from an analogy. As an example, I really enjoyed the great work - High Altitude Leadership: What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success (J-B US non-Franchise Leadership) and the simple yet effective - The Tazie Effect. (Of course I am also partial to my own book, Wingtips with Spurs) With this tome by Forbes and John Prevas, the analogy is much closer to home than either of these titles. Business and government leadership are not only comparative, indeed they are often interdependent.

    As we have the roman military and the Catholic Church to thank for our current leadership model, this book truly hits the mark with its great lessons and teachings. If you do not believe the comment in the preceding sentence, consider this simple example.

    Obey us completely or be:

    1. Put to death (Roman Military)

    2. Excommunicated (Church)

    3. Terminated (Modern Business)

    Power Ambition Glory: The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient World and Today . . . and the Lessons You Can Learn is a remarkable historical guide that easily slips into the business arena. Taking lessons from the rise and fall of empires, and then building correlations with our modern business leaders, the wise among us will take these lessons to heart and reflect them in our actions. This is an appealing book that notes a strong correlation between leaders throughout history and business/management leaders in the current era.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 10 Customer Reviews
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