What We Are Reading Today: How to Be a Bad Emperor by Josiah Osgood

What We Are Reading Today: How to Be a Bad Emperor by Josiah Osgood
Updated 08 November 2019

What We Are Reading Today: How to Be a Bad Emperor by Josiah Osgood

What We Are Reading Today: How to Be a Bad Emperor by Josiah Osgood

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the best guide to leadership is the negative example. But that insight is hardly new. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Suetonius wrote Lives of the Caesars, perhaps the greatest negative leadership book of all time. 

He was ideally suited to write about terrible political leaders. In How to Be a Bad Emperor, Josiah Osgood provides crisp new translations of Suetonius’ briskly paced, darkly comic biographies of the Roman emperors Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. 

Entertaining and shocking, the stories of these ancient anti-role models show how power inflames leaders’ worst tendencies, causing almost incalculable damage. 

Complete with an introduction and the original Latin on facing pages, How to Be a Bad Emperor is both a gleeful romp through some of the nastiest bits of Roman history and a perceptive account of leadership gone monstrously awry.