Wisdom Of The Ancients
By David Futrelle

(MONEY Magazine) – Ever since Wess Roberts' Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun hit the bestseller lists back in the 1980s, writers have drawn business lessons from an unlikely assortment of historical figures, from William Shakespeare to Gen. George S. Patton. Here's our take on three recent contributions to the genre.

--David Futrelle

TITLE Jesus, Inc: The Visionary Path; An Entrepreneur's Guide to True Success

PREMISE In this sequel to the best-selling Jesus, CEO, Laurie Beth Jones teaches aspiring "spiritreneurs" how to "honor God, develop people, pursue excellence and create profits."

SAMPLE LESSON "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food which endures to eternal life." John 6:27

WORTH READING? If you prefer the Prayer of Jabez to the Book of Matthew, you'll love Jesus, Inc. But it seems unlikely that Jesus, who chose his words carefully, would have approved of the term "spiritreneur."

[TITLE] Wisdom from the Ancients: Enduring Business Lessons from...the Illustrious Leaders of Ancient Greece and Rome

[PREMISE] Three classics professors attempt to cash in on the craze with reheated "lessons" from the likes of Alexander the Great, Cicero and Pliny the Younger.

[SAMPLE LESSON] "Men become richer not only by increasing their existing wealth but also by reducing their expenditure."--Aristotle, Rhetoric

[WORTH READING?] I came, I read, I fell asleep. The book's subtitle makes sense only if you assume the word "enduring" was meant to be read as a verb.

[TITLE] Elizabeth I, CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader who Built an Empire

[PREMISE] The author of the best-selling Patton on Leadership, Alan Axelrod, shows how Elizabeth I transformed England from "the arse of the world" into a superpower.

[SAMPLE LESSON] "To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it."

[WORTH READING?] Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina could learn a thing or two from this legendary turnaround artist.