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CLAUDE ROESSIGER WAS raised in Switzerland and the United States. 

He studied political science at Middlebury, and received an honors degree from Boston University’s School of Management. 

An entrepreneur, Roessiger has founded several international companies. 

He is an authority on the branding of luxury products and has written on the subject and lectured in front of leading luxury-sector associations in Europe, Asia, and North America. 

Claude's new ebook "UNFORGETTABLE PACKAGING and How to Create It: The Definitive Guide for Luxury and Specialty Brands" will be available for purchase at Amazon and other online retailers in early summer 2013.

He has also been active in state politics and has written and spoken widely on political philosophy and international relations. 

He lives with his family in northern New England and on Ireland’s windswept west coast.

Why I wrote Madame Alexandra 

by Claude Roessiger

The early 2000s were beset by accounting scandals. I was troubled less by the effect that these had upon investors--believing in the principles of self-reliance, responsibility and caveat emptor--than by the stupidity and disrespectability of puffed up chief executives and their acolytes to whom had been entrusted the good care of major organizations.

I did not immediately there upon write anything at all. Instead I considered what is purported to be taught by business schools and business books, some of which may be useful, but much of which is what was once believed to be the business of senior clerks. 

Those who led organizations led by principles, by example and by steady visions, often bold. These are not taught in our business education today, to our detriment. How many theories must we struggle through to understand that commerce is commerce, and its principles do not change, nor do those concerning the good guidance of organizations? Thus I thought to juxtapose and highlight those good and durable principles with a trade some consider ill-reputed, however venerable it may be. That, and only that, is the purpose of the context that I chose: the contrast.

One of the twentieth century's notable business leaders, Arnold, Baron Weinstock, replied to an interviewer who commented upon his company's success, and suggested that surely he had hired the best of the best from the business schools, that in fact they did not hire from business schools, for the better minds were found in demanding programs in the liberal arts. 

He went on to say that, "We want only two things in a young person: character and intelligence. Business we can teach. That goes quickly." 

It makes one think that we perhaps exchanged too quickly the traditional forming of business leaders--by attaching them to senior managers as secretaries--for the belief that many who had little done might teach others to do. 

Would a young person be better served by Harvard, or by spending two years of his life working as a secretary to Henry Ford or J.P. Morgan? What can usefully be learned in school are accounting and finance, the mechanics upon which all commerce is based. 

Thereafter it's about vision, sound principles and good judgment. 

These are better learned in Great Books than in B-books. 

Thus, Madame Alexandra.