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Rizzoli (2018-05)
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Political economy


Elogio del Buon Imprenditore

by Cotrugli, BenedettoWagner, Alessandro

The first book ever combining business, ethical capitalism and corporate responsibility within a single mission: be successful and create a better world. Who's the writer? A XV century merchant.
A popular, abridged version of the first modern handbook with 15 golden rules for the honest and responsible businessman, edited by Alessandro Wagner, with a foreword by Brunello Cucinelli.

Written in 1458 by the Dalmation merchant and diplomat Benedetto Cotrugli, printed in Venice a century later in an awfully censored and trivialized version, and rediscovered only in the 1990s - two ancient manuscripts were found in Florence e La Valletta - The Book of the Art of Trade is a Renaissance masterpiece that is still significantly meaningful for today's businessmen.

This shortened version for a wide readership contains valuable advice for conducting business in an honest way, profitable both for the individual and for the society at large. Issues of ethics, politics, public behaviour, education, family life, handling of goods and loans, accounting, finance, customer satisfaction, and much more are exposed in a simple and lucid prose which will no doubt fascinate anyone involved into a business activity.

The first part of the book consists in 15 rules that quote the corresponding passages of Cotrugli's original work. They summarise a business wisdom that, as the reader will discover, is still much needed in this time of crisis where finance runs out of control. Moreover, it represents a fascinating historical reference about corporate responsibility.

The second part, written with the rhythm of an historical novel, traces the life and the adventures of the merchant-writer Benedetto Cotrugli, and the story of the original codex, up to 1990s, when two 15th-century manuscripts, hand-copied from the original and probably lost in Naples, were found. Since its rediscovery, Cotrugli's original text had been available only in a full-length, academic version, published by Palgrave/Macmillan.

Definitely, a book that identifies the role of the (honest) businessman as the engine that moves the world.

Born in Dubrovnik, Benedetto Cotrugli grew up in Ragusa, but it is Neaples that claims his business, philosophical and humanist skills. After having inherited his father's cloth business, he wrote one of the first business books.

Alessandro Wagner is a business journalist and scholar, who has written for most of the Italian daily newspapers and magazines (Corriere della Sera, Il Giorno, Il Messaggero, L'Indipendente, la Repubblica, L'Espresso, Milano Finanza). As Director of the Italian Cespep - Centro europeo studi pubblico e privato (European Center for Public and Private Studies), he wrote several papers about privatizations, and two books, "The Corporate Governance International Codes: A Global View" and "A Manual Of Corporate Governance". He also wrote "Due milioni di miliardi: l'incredibile ma vera storia del debito pubblico" (Mondadori) and "Il grande scippo" (Editori Riuniti)

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