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Leadership in war : essential lessons from those who made history

by Roberts, Andrew, 1963-

Format: Print Book 2019
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A comparison of nine leaders who led their nations through the greatest wars the world has ever seen and whose unique strengths--and weaknesses--shaped the course of human history, from the bestselling, award-winning author of Churchill and Napoleon

"Has the enjoyable feel of a lively dinner table conversation with an opinionated guest." -- The New York Times Book Review

Taking us from the French Revolution to the Cold War, Andrew Roberts presents a bracingly honest and deeply insightful look at nine major figures in modern history: Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, George C. Marshall, Charles de Gaulle, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Margaret Thatcher.

Each of these leaders fundamentally shaped the outcome of the war in which their nation was embroiled. Is war leadership unique, or did these leaders have something in common, traits and techniques that transcend time and place and can be applied to the essential nature of conflict?

Meticulously researched and compellingly written, Leadership in War presents readers with fresh, complex portraits of leaders who approached war with different tactics and weapons, but with the common goal of success in the face of battle. Both inspiring and cautionary, these portraits offer important lessons on leadership in times of struggle, unease, and discord. With his trademark verve and incisive observation, Roberts reveals the qualities that doom even the most promising leaders to failure, as well as the traits that lead to victory.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This underdeveloped history by Roberts (Churchill: Walking with Destiny) adapts a series of lectures in which he examined the lives of nine wartime leaders: Napoleon Bonaparte, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Charles DeGaulle, George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Margaret Thatcher. Roberts believes "there are certain definable principles and leadership techniques that are eternal," but the short biographical sketches don't convincingly support that conclusion. The chapter on Horatio Nelson, for example, details his early years rising through the naval ranks, his infamous extramarital romantic escapades with Emma Hamilton, and his daring, and fatal, heroism at the Battle of Trafalgar; then it closes with a laundry list of leadership assets (including "have a treasury back home prepared to finance the organization of the fantastically expensive operations") without providing strong connections between them and the preceding narrative. The book closes with a synthesizing chapter that presents wide-ranging conclusions about qualities important for leadership, ranging from the typical (a strong memory) to the odd (the "overlap between successful war leadership and literary ability"). This survey is probably too cursory and superficial to reward readers who want to know more about these leaders. (Oct.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Leadership -- Case studies.
Command of troops -- Case studies.
Military history.
Military biography.
Case studies.
Publisher [New York, New York?] :2019
Language English
Description xiv, 239 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 225-239).
ISBN 9780525522386
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