Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists

By David W. Del Testa | Go to book overview


Qualities of Leadership

Scholars have only just begun to appreciate how the world's peoples, cultures, and ideas have influenced one another since the dawn of organized human civilizations some thousands of years ago. However, leadership, particularly political, military, and social leadership, has received comparatively little attention within the study of global interconnectivity because its impact has been seemingly obvious. Likewise, the idea of who and what qualities make a good leader has remained similarly unchallenged. Some scholars have recently begun to question the construction of leadership and its importance at various times in the past. In part, this questioning has reaffirmed or even improved the assessment of the leadership of many famous leaders, including Napoléon I, leader of France from 1799 to 1814-15, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served as president of the United States from 1933 to 1945.

This new examination has also illuminated the achievements of previously ignored historical figures who have had a powerful and enduring impact on human civilization and global interconnectivity. For example, 25 years ago, few scholars would have known about the accomplishments of the eighteenth-century French political writer Olympe de Gouges or the twentieth-century British human rights activist Peter Benenson; fewer still would have dared to compare them with the canonical “greats” of human history. This volume, which introduces 200 of the greatest leaders throughout history, makes a broader reexamination of leaders and leadership, enhancing the reputation of some and illuminating other men and women previously overlooked. This volume is also located at the crossroads of the debate on how the societies of different parts of the world influenced one another and what impact they had on world history.

Unlike more conservative and traditional efforts, we have striven to introduce the reader to the broader forces that influenced the personal development of the historical figures considered, and to show how their leadership has had an enduring and global impact. Every biography begins with a description of the life of the individual, followed by an analysis of the individual s legacy. In each entry, the leader s legacy carries equal or more weight than the actual life events. The long-term influence of a particular figures leadership on the progress and shape of world history and the impact of global forces on that figure formed the major criteria for inclusion in this volume; they were also the core issues examined in the biographies.

As a word and a concept, leadership has many meanings. It may indicate, sometimes simultaneously, the ability to lead, the ability to choose the individual who leads, or the validation by others of the right to lead. In this volume, the subjects of the 200 biographies must have at least embodied the first definition, although they may or may not have served as the sole leader of a group, organization, or movement and may not have even initially had the right to lead. Naturally, many of the figures possessed personalities and skills that their society considered to be important traits for a true leader. Equally important, however, is to remember that sometimes what their societies may have initially considered deficiencies made the various historical figures better leaders over time. These supposed deficiencies, or differences, often were excellent alternatives to what the preceding leaders had offered as leadership.

By considering individuals with unconventional leadership characteristics, we were able to include leaders who have had an important impact on history but who did not necessarily have favorable reputations during their lifetimes. For example, because she was a stage actress and served as the mistress to wealthy men during her life, many of the peers of Olympe de Gouges questioned her character. Yet her social vantage point, combined with her own progressive sensibilities and qualities as a writer, allowed de Gouges to write insightful political tracts and argue for women's rights in a way most men would not have dared to do at the time. Likewise, Booker Taliaferro Washington, an African-American activist of the late nineteenth century, had an approach to the social


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Government Leaders, Military Rulers, and Political Activists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Listing of Biographies iv
  • Introduction v
  • The Biographies 1
  • Appendices, Bibliography, and Index 203
  • Appendix One 205
  • Appendix Two 213
  • Appendix Three 219
  • Bibliography 225
  • Index 231


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.