PUGNARE : Economic Success and Failure

4.31 (13 ratings by Goodreads)
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The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see, said Sir Winston Churchill. This fabulous book looks back across two thousand years. We imagine the Roman Empire as being a world very distant from ours, so distant that we may think we have nothing to learn from them. That however would be a mistake, as Sir Winston Churchill knew.

The causes of the triumphs and disasters of our times are much the same as those of the Roman Empire. The Romans were people like us and the wisest of their great men and women were as wise as the best of ours. Unfortunately, the most foolish of theirs were just as the foolish as the worst of ours.

Pugnare is the first historical account of the Roman Empire written from a practical business perspective. It is also about people, because business is about people. We can learn a lot from their behaviour, from their successes and failures.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 148 x 241 x 19mm | 400g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 52 colour illustrations and 13 graphs all embedded in the text
  • 1999626214
  • 9781999626211
  • 343,802

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 2 Expansion 8
Chapter 3 Peace 29
Chapter 4 Money 57
Chapter 5 Cities 85
Chapter 6 Prosperity 113
Chapter 7 Life 141
Chapter 8 Chaos 165
Chapter 9 Survival 199
Appendix 217
Additional Reading 219
Acknowledgements 227
List of Illustrations 229
Bibliography 233
Index 251
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Review quote

Featured in The Week magazine's Ten Best Business Books of 2021; "A fascinating and underappreciated angle on classical history" - Victoria Hewson, Institute of Economic Affairs; "A fabulous account of Roman history written from a financial perspective... One to give to anyone who you would like to be less blase about the resilience of our institutions than they are and to worry more about inflation than they do. A central banker perhaps" - Merryn Somerset Webb, Financial Times; "A sure-footed, expert treatment of a fascinating topic" - James Martin S.J. New York Times bestselling author.
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George Maher came to London, like Dick Whittington, with little money in his pocket and made his fortune and career there. With the benefit of a good Irish education, he started work at a financial consultancy determined to learn his craft and benefit from the experiences of the senior partners.

Year after year brought new projects, new successes, new failures and insights into how the world really works. He rose to be partner himself and wondered what to do next.

While still advising companies from around the world and helping governments solve problems like how to manage riot risk or how to avoid deaths on the roads he studied for a degree in Classics, relearning the Latin he had learnt as a boy and learning new facts about history.

Along the way he had an idea. What about applying all that he had learnt about how the modern world works to the world of the Roman Empire? Nobody had done something like that before. And in any case the main thing he had learnt from looking at hundreds of different companies in many different countries was that human nature does not change and success and failure depend on understanding that. Maybe there was something that we could learn from the Romans and their amazing successes and failures. But first he wanted to know more. So he studied for a PhD in the Roman Economy. His thesis is now published as the Imperial Roman Economy.

But he felt that all these insights and new ways of looking at things which he had discovered along the way should not stay hidden. So he decided to write Pugnare and share what he had found. It is a story about how we can learn from the Roman Empire. It shines a new light for the first time on an old story, because he had come a different path.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
5 69% (9)
4 8% (1)
3 8% (1)
2 15% (2)
1 0% (0)
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