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Books
By
Robert Lerner

 
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Available Now on Amazon

“Time, consumer of all things”

Ovid, Metamorphoses, AD 8


The Clock Whispers contains seven short stories centered on the importance of time. In “David’s Cocktail Hour,” an elderly gentleman finds himself in a life-and-death negotiation for more time. “Cleopatra’s Needle” examines a man’s life choices when he learns he has been granted more time than he can imagine. “Johnny’s Sundial” documents the ramifications of bad decisions made by a person with a little extra time on his hands. “Jake’s Hearing Aids” reveals the failure of a widowed husband to use his remaining time to make things right. “Billy’s Bar and Grill” details the “Happy Hour” conversations at an establishment where time can be put to excellent use or foolishly squandered. The book’s final two stories, “Tom’s Ring” and “Tessa’s Sweater,” show how, for some things, there is never a good time.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Besides The Clock Whispers, Robert Lerner has published four works of fiction: Contemporary Folktales, The Cinderella Vessel, An Accidental Prophet, and Dog Park Diaries. Lerner has also authored four nonfiction books that interweave ancient Roman business practices with the modern workplace, including a newly released work on ancient Rome’s wealthiest citizen, The Entrepreneurial Thinking of Marcus Crassus. The three others—Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Ancient Rome, Career Turbulence, and Customer Acquisition Strategies—were published as part of Multi-Media Publications’ Lessons From History Series. Lerner is the retired CEO of a multinational computer services company.

 

Fiction

An Accidental Prophet

(Available on Amazon.com)

In our era of fake news, God is taking sides,

and a modern-day Jonah must save the losers -

Late Night comedians.

A former late night television host perishes in a biblically themed fashion. Although the comic is widely mourned, no one seems to notice, or much less care about the underlying cause of death. But Tim Blake, a retired high school teacher, sees God’s hand in the tragedy. In fact, Mr. Blake could foresee the comedian’s demise and the means by which it would occur. As a second peculiar death follows the first, Blake reluctantly comes to believe he is a modern day Jonah who must save the comics that have wandered into God’s ground zero. Accurately forecasting the wrath of the Almighty via tweets as @Jonah, Tim becomes a social media sensation, is hunted by the FBI, and even appears on a late night television show to carry out his mission, as best as he can understand it, with devastating effectiveness.

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The Cinderella Vessel
(Available on Amazon.com)

After a certain age, it seems we all wistfully dream of being young again. But would you willingly trade a year of your remaining life to regain just a single day of youthfulness? Lauren Drake makes just such an exchange with the assistance 2,000-year-old glass goblet in hopes of revitalizing her crumbling marriage. She finds, however, that the benefits of fleeting youth come at a far greater price than she ever anticipated. To help Lauren better understand the source of vessel’s great power, she enlists the aid of Dr. Taylor Simms, a professor of religious studies at Boston College. Dr. Simms is astonished to learn that the ancient chalice constructed for Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor responsible for the appointment of Pontius Pilate to his post in Judea, is not just capable of restoring the body, but regenerating the soul as well.

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More Fiction by Robert Lerner

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Contemporary Folktales
(Available on Amazon.com)

“There is a great deal of human nature in people.”

― Mark Twain


Contemporary Folktales contains four fictional short stories centered on the concept of unintended consequences—be they immediate, recurring, at the end of one’s life, or even in the afterlife. In “Dr. John’s Shuyet,” a resentful ex-husband seeks to inflict one last wound on his former spouse, but instead his misdeeds rebound on himself in a fashion not seen in two thousand years. “Dick’s Apotheosis” details an extraordinary luncheon between a pair of strangers that discover the cost of overreaching tremendous. “Jimmy’s Kiss” shines a bright light on a man who finds himself haunted by a simple college prank that went wildly off the rails. In “David Pitman’s Journal,” an old man’s obsession for vengeance leads him on a dangerous journey–—but his destination is not anything like he expected.

 

Also, Available On AMAZON.COM
(In Paperback and on Kindle)

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Dog Park Diaries

“[Druids believe] that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another.”

               Julius Caesar (The Gallic Wars)   



When Professor David Pitman realizes that the accelerating symptoms of Alzheimer’s prohibit him from seeking revenge for a devastating personal loss, he decides to pursue a most improbable course - his reincarnation into a younger, healthier body. His desperate plan is born from an obscure quote of Julius Caesar’s, a mysterious business card, and an ancient amulet. But Pitman’s actions create great risk, not only for the professor, but also the unsuspecting victim of his selfish scheme – a fellow patron of his neighborhood’s dog park. As revealed in the diaries, emails and notes of key participants in David Pitman’s perilous quest, a tranquil dog park for the elderly and their beloved little dogs is transformed into a high-stakes battleground between the living and the dead.

 

Non-Fiction

 
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“Now, the Romans say that the many good qualities of Crassus were obscured by one vice, avarice…”

Plutarch, Crassus 2

Marcus Licinius Crassus was a political patron and partner in power with Julius Caesar, but he is best remembered as the Roman Republic’s wealthiest man and for the not unrelated manner of his death. Crassus lost his life in battle with the Parthian Empire in 53 BC, but his story did not end there. The victorious Parthians, to mock Crassus’ unquenchable thirst for wealth, proceeded to desecrate his corpse by pouring molten gold down his throat. Sigmund Freud even included the tragic scene in his classic work, The Interpretation of Dreams, and has a Queen of Parthia state to Crassus’ corpse, “Now hast thou what thou hast longed for.” But buried deep beneath the lurid tales of Crassus’ extraordinary life and gruesome death hides entrepreneurial genius. For the enigmatic Crassus time and again reveals himself as a financial wizard, who through his risk-taking and shrewd investments, reached the pinnacle of power in the Late Roman Republic.


This book examines the many similarities between the wealth accumulation methods of this ancient businessman (be they good, bad or ugly) and the greatest entrepreneurs of America’s Gilded Age—the men better known today as the robber barons. In the late nineteenth century, the term robber baron came into use to describe businesspersons who made great fortunes through aggressive, exploitive, and ruthless business practices as well as their ability to innovate on a grand scale. These same traits can also be clearly discerned in Marcus Crassus, who lived over 2,000 years ago. Although the author shows there is little to admire in Crassus’ character, there is still much to learn from his entrepreneurial thinking.

 

Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Ancient Rome

Nearly 2000 years ago a wealthy Roman Senator, Pliny the Younger, wrestled with the effects of collapsing grape prices on his Tuscan vineyard. Pliny, very much the Roman traditionalist, was in fact an innovative businessman whose problem analysis and ethical approach to his decisions, all made without the support of the modern technology taken for granted today, translate exceptionally well into the modern business world. Pliny’s actions during that business crisis are evaluated from the perspective of a modern day CEO and provide critical guidance for today’s entrepreneurs and students of business.

This study, primarily drawn from Pliny’s collection of letters, provides the foundation upon which a modern business framework of 20 lessons is constructed. These management lessons discuss topics such as personal leadership, business ethics, risk management, financial management as well as innovation and are augmented with commentary drawn from the author’s experience in managing and leading global businesses over a 30-year career.

Available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

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Career Turbulence

In our modern society, generating personal financial security, whether by means of employment in a small to medium sized company, or a career in a large corporation, is difficult enough even on “good days” and seemingly impossible during turbulent times. Most often your financial wellbeing is dependent on your employment, and so the loss of a job often can result in the complete destruction of personal wealth. The goal of this handbook is to instruct you, via a set of 20 lessons, in a ‘bare knuckles’ approach to survival in the marketplace - a marketplace where events are often not just complicating your business life, but are conspiring to destroy both your livelihood and your accumulated wealth.


This handbook will examine the decisions and actions of one exceptional survivor who operated over two thousand years ago in ancient Rome - the Rome of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Marcus Brutus, and Cicero. For among these giants of history operated Titus Pomponius Atticus (referred to in the text simply as Atticus). Atticus witnessed years of civil war and bloodshed that the rise of Julius Caesar engendered. After surviving all that turmoil Atticus then faced one of the most jarring events in history, the assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 BC - but Atticus was no mere witness to these events - he was involved financially with the major players!  We will look beyond the distaste of some historians and use Atticus as a source of shrewd wisdom, for the lessons to be gained from his amazing ability to survive and prosper are timeless. An employee fighting for his or her own survival in today’s heartless business world could do much worse than the selection of such an advisor.

Available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

 
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Customers are the lifeblood of any modern company but how do you go about capturing their business? To answer this question author Robert Lerner reaches back in time to the customer acquisition strategies of four of the most successful entrepreneurs of ancient Rome.

From these ancient entrepreneurs’ marketing and promotional techniques this book provides twenty-nine lessons in customer acquisition that are insensitive to the passage of time and that can applied across the broad spectrum of communication vehicles available today.

Available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

 

My Bio

Meet Robert C. Lerner

After obtaining my MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business I spent more than 20 years working at Wang Global rising to President of Wang’s North American Field Service operation with responsibility for over 4,000 employees and revenues of more than half a billion dollars. In 2000 I led a management buyout of a division of the company and was appointed President and CEO of QualxServ, the newly formed enterprise.  Under my leadership QualxServ grew into a global computer services provider employing over 3,000 computer service professionals worldwide. I retired in 2009 to spend more time with my family as well as pursue his passion for the study of the business management lessons that can be learned from ancient Rome. With the publication of Entrepreneurship and Ethics in Ancient Rome, Career Turbulence, Customer Acquisition Strategies and the drafting The Entrepreneurial Thinking of Marcus Crassus, I began writing fiction with traces of antiquity and magical realism sprinkled in each book. The Cinderella Vessel, An Accidental Prophet, Dog Park Diaries, and Contemporary Folktales are all available now on Amazon.com. 

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