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Open Road Media, Apr 10, 2012 - Political Science - 538 pages
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Pulitzer Prize–winning historian James MacGregor Burns’s definitive look at the power of transformational leadership, from Moses to Machiavelli to Martin Luther King Jr.
Historian and political scientist James MacGregor Burns has spent much of his career documenting the use and misuse of power by leaders throughout history. In this groundbreaking study, Burns examines the qualities that make certain leaders—in America and elsewhere—succeed as transformative figures. Through insightful anecdotes and historical analysis, Burns scrutinizes the charisma, vision, and persuasive power of individuals able to imbue followers with a common sense of purpose, from the founding fathers to FDR, Ghandi to Napoleon. Since its original publication in 1970, Leadership has set the standard for scholarship in the field.

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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

Impressive overarching study of the types and effects of leaders. Essential to understanding the topic. Read full review


The Crisis of Leadership
The Power of Leadership
The Structure of Moral Leadership
The Psychological Matrix of Leadership
The Cocoon of Personality
The Social Sources of Leadership
Ideas as Moral Power
Reform Leadership
Party Leadership
Conflict and Leadership
The Price of Consensus
Executive Leadership
Toward a General Theory
Political Leadership as Practical Influence

Revolutionary Leadership
Heroes and Ideologues
Bargainers and Bureaucrats

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About the author (2012)

James MacGregor Burns (1918–2014) was a bestselling American historian and political scientist whose work earned both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Born in Boston, Burns fell in love with politics and history at an early age. He earned his BA at Williams College, where he returned to teach history and political science after obtaining his PhD at Harvard and serving in World War II. Burns’s two-volume biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt is considered the definitive examination of the politician’s rise to power, and his groundbreaking writing on the subject of political leadership has influenced scholars for decades. Most recently, he served as the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government Emeritus at Williams College and as Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the University of Maryland. 

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