’The year is 50BC. Gaul is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well,
not entirely. One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out
against the invaders.’
Way back when I still sold neckties for a living, Miles Young - the then
chairman of O&M Direct - suggested I read Machiavelli’s The Prince, as
part of my preparation for the world of direct marketing.
Read it I did and thereby received an insight into modern corporate
politics, from the statecraft reports of 16th century Florence’s own
However, after finishing the book, something nagged at the back of my
mind. Where else had I read about the power of devious influence?
Why, in Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo’s Asterix and the Roman Agent,
(priced pounds 5.99), of course!
The plot revolves around the wholly negative influence of a Roman
’troublemaker’, Tortuous Convolvulus. Sent to the fortified village of
our intrepid heroes, this insidious character then proceeds to sow
discord in order to break up their camaraderie.
Needless to say, the Gauls prevail and the whole village celebrates with
a boar dinner.
This is a classic text about the ways and means of realpolitik. No
self-respecting player should be without it.