Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Fascinating Facts, but What's the Point?
THE BOOKSTORES, as Garry Wills points out, are crowded with tracts on leadership and leaders - how to spot them, how to understand them, best of all how to become one. Why do we need another book on such a well-covered subject?
Of course, the author of this little study is not another management consultant or inspirational lecturer, but the well-known analyst of antique virtue, Professor Garry Wills. He sets forth to consider great leaders, past and present, as archetypes and models, so as to study what the process of leadership has and has not been. He divides the field into categories - charismatic, reform, radical, business, artistic and more, and then presents a notable specimen, as well as an antitype who serves to show what the opposite characteristics are. This project is based on great precedents, going back to Plutarch and especially Max Weber. The aim is to derive from the immense storehouse of the past precepts of intelligible value; the result tends to be a random selection of odd, mismatched examples. …