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Emperor's Handbook

"It's up to you!" — is that an athletic shoe slogan, or the distillation of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius's Stoic philosophy? Apparently the latter, according to C. Scott Hicks and David V. Hicks, translators of The Emperor's Handbook, a 2002 edition of the Meditations (aka To Himself).

"This book belongs on the desk of every business executive, political leader, and military officer," the dust jacket trumpets. Really? The Introduction includes a strained defense of the torture and execution of early Christians, by order of M. Aurelius and in contrast to his benign tolerance of other belief systems. Why the strange apologetics? Overall The Emperor's Handbook feels oddly unnecessary. Yes, modern CEOs might profit from pondering M. Aurelius. So would lots of other people. But although Hicks & Hicks have produced a chatty, readable tome, it's unclear how accurate or authoritative it is compared to all the other translations.

(cf. BennettOnStoicism (1999-04-29), InsideTheInnerCitadel (2002-10-15), MemorySupport (2002-10-31), EatTheOrange (2004-11-28), ...) - ^z - 2011-10-07