Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failu re
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The life of Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps with his army in 218 BCE, is the stuff of legend. And the epic choices he and his Roman enemies made on the battlefield and in life offer timeless lessons to us today about how we should respond to our own victories and defeats. Inspired by ancient history, Hannibal and Me explores the triumphs and disasters in our lives by examining the decisions made by Hannibal and others, including Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Ernest Shackleton, and Paul Cézanne. Kluth shows why some overcome failure and others succumb to it, and why some fall victim to success while others thrive on it. The result is a page-turning adventure tale, a compelling human drama, and an insightful guide to understanding behavior.
p. 66. 26. Greene, The Art of Seduction, p. 7. 27. Ibid., pp. 7–9. 28. Ibid., pp. xix–xxi. 29. Grant, Cleopatra, p. 96. 30. Plutarch, “Antony,” in Lives, trans. John Dryden (New York: Modern Library, 2001), II, pp. 496–97. 31. Grant, Cleopatra, p. 127. SIX. TACTICS AND STRATEGY IN LIFE 1. Livy, The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books XXXI–XLV, trans. Henry Bettenson (London and New York: Penguin Books, 1976), XXIII, 7. 2. Ibid., XXIII, 11–13. 3. My primary
much time with her. They were emotionally distant. So Eleanor spent her youth searching for the idea of her mother and father, who died when Eleanor was eight and nine years old. SHE WAS BORN into an old Anglo-Dutch family of the East Coast aristocracy during the Victorian era. On one side were Roosevelts, including her own father, Elliott, and his older brother, Theodore, the future president. On her mother’s side were Halls, Ludlows, and Livingstons. Her mother was the latest in a long line
through shallow and fetid water, the mud turning softer and slimier as thousands of hooves and feet kneaded it into a stinking brown sludge. Nobody could sleep, because there was not a dry spot of land to rest on. When mules and asses died, the men, in their desperation, made piles out of the carrion and lay on top of them to take short naps. Men and horses urinated and excreted into this giant sewer, and infections and dysentery started spreading. Hannibal himself caught a painful case of
the status quo. That was all that Rome, as the defender, really needed in order to survive as a state. In these extreme circumstances, Fabius decided, the strategic definition of success was no longer victory but stalemate. In his slow and methodical way, Fabius thus determined that Hannibal’s stunning triumphs on the battlefield might yet lead to nothing. They might be impostors. AS FABIUS was pondering this, bloody stragglers limped through the gates of Rome telling of another, greater
success along the way, which turned out to be dead ends and only led to more frustration. But he persevered. “I feel like a kid who cannot get the hang of the ABCs, even though, strangely enough, I do not abandon hope. After all, one is dealing here with a sphinx, not with a willing streetwalker.”48 When Einstein died in Princeton at the age of seventy-six, twelve dog-eared pages of corrected and crossed-out equations were strewn around his bed. His success had hardened a mind that once was