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In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the origin, uncertain growth, and finally, the exercise of fully developed leadership.
Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the man make the times or does the times make the man?
In Leadership Goodwin draws upon four of the presidents she has studied - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson - to show how they first recognized leadership qualities within themselves, and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entry into public life, when their paths were filled with confusion, hope, and fear, we can share their struggles and follow their development into leaders.
Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to forever shatter their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.
No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities and temperament, they shared a fierce ambition, a hunger to succeed beyond expectations. All four, at their best, were guided by a sense of moral purpose that led them at moments of great challenge to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.
This seminal work provides a roadmap for aspiring and established leaders. In today's polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in time of surpassing fracture and fear take on a singular urgency.
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A masterwork on how good leaders become great leaders. A culminating work of a true intellectual artist (Jim Collins, author Good to Great, co-author Built to Last)
A marvelous banquet with four leaders whose lives provide lessons for all. Pull up a chair (Warren Buffett)
Team of Rivals was a huge bestseller . . . this book may do even better. It is a safe bet that Leadership will soon sit on the nightstand of every chief executive officer in the land and will be avidly read by the legion of ambitious young people who want their jobs (Niall Ferguson Sunday Times)
Colourful, fun and illuminating...a master storyteller (Daniel Finkelstein The Times)
I have not enjoyed a history book as much for years (Robert Harris, on 'Team of Rivals')
What Doris Kearns Goodwin brings to this book -- above all her other attributes -- is a true sense of wisdom. A lifetime of writing important and thought-provoking books means that she has thought deeply on the crucial subject of leadership, and about the way that lessons learned in the political and military spheres might translate into the business and social ones. The profundity of her thought on these issues is evident on every well-researched and well-written page. Superb. (Professor Andrew Roberts, author, Churchill: Walking with Destiny)
This is a wonderful book, which illuminates and entertains. In analysing the leadership qualities of four very different presidents, Doris Kearns Goodwin underlines how these attributes are almost wholly missing from the political equipment of the present incumbent of the Oval Office. (Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to the United States)
Business students invariably ask me: 'With what historical figure would you like to have lunch?' Doris Kearns Goodwin has prepared a marvelous banquet with four great presidents who provide lessons for all. Pull up a chair (Warren Buffett)
Doris Goodwin is the grand master of presidential biography. Now, in this marvelous synthesis, Goodwin deploys her deep knowledge of four towering individuals-Lincoln, TR, FDR, and LBJ-to create a masterwork on how good leaders become great leaders. She shows how burning personal ambition can be elevated into driving ambition for a cause greater than self, how egotism can be transformed into humility born of crushing setbacks, and how fierce individual resolve can be transferred into collective will to do what must be done. Riveting, uplifting, and incisive, Leadership is a culminating work of a true intellectual artist (Jim Collins, author Good to Great, co-author Built to Last)
It is to Goodwin's credit that she teases out the variety and peculiarities among the four presidents . . . she renders her characters with a depth and intricacy that not all academic historians seek to attain. We can only hope that a few of Goodwin's many readers will find in her subjects' examples a margin of inspiration (David Greenberg New York Times)
Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.
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