Profiles in Leadership

Profiles in Leadership

Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness

Book - 2010
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A collection of essays reflecting on the enduring ingredients of leadership.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393076554
0393076555
Characteristics: 331 p. : ill., ports. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Isaacson, Walter.

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BigMoose Nov 21, 2011

The concept was good, but somewhere along the way the essayists missed the point as they reverted to their more familiar personae as historians and biographers. The actual leadership qualities became lost to me in the biographical details of most of the essays. The surprise subjects didn't help at all -- why John McGraw (the obnoxious NY Giants Manager) was included is beyond me; and why include a chapter on certain US Presidents on how they failed to lead in a book that is supposed to be about profiles in leadership (I agreed with the choices for that chapter, by the way, just not with their inclusion). Probably, I misread the subtitle and was hoping for more examples of great leaders and the qualities that made them so.

My favorite essays and those that seemed to actually define some personal qualities of leadership in their subject's profiles, were about Ulysses S. Grant (by Sean Wilentz), Dwight D. Eisenhower (by David M. Kennedy), and Robert F. Kennedy (by Evan Thomas). The last, on Kennedy, was excellent (and I have never been a Kennedy fan). Much of the rest were empty for me. Thus, I was somewhat disappointed in this book.

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