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George Washington On Leadership

Discussion in 'Books & Publications Forum' started by Martin, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Richard Brookhiser's book "George Washington On Leadership" is an interesting approach to the life of our first and, in my opinion, greatest President. Brookhiser admits in the opening of the book that it is not a biography. His purpose is to examine how George Washington behaved as a leader in various circumstances. This approach means that his book is not chronological, but topical. He examines Washington's approach to "Problems" (Sec. 1) such as "Small Stuff" (Chpt 4), "Communication" (Chpt 6), and "Timing" (Chpt 7). Then he looks at how Washington handled various types of "People" (Sec. 2) such as "Troublemakers" (Chpt 9) and "Enemies". Finally, Brookhiser looks at how Washington viewed himself (Sec. 3).

    Each chapter in the book contains two or three historical examples followed by Brookhiser's application to modern day business, education, or military. While the historical examples Brookhiser uses are interesting, thought provoking, and sometimes funny, his applications often are weak and sometimes seem almost forced. At times his applications read almost like college essays.

    While I generally enjoyed the book, I thought Brookhiser would have been better served by avoiding the applications. The book could have been a simple study on Washington's leadership styles in each of his very important roles.

    On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the best) I give Richard Brookhiser's "George Washington On Leadership"a 7.

    If you wish to read a good biography on George Washington, I suggest one of the following.

    "His Excellency" by Joseph Ellis

    "Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington" by Richard Brookhiser

    "George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots" by Dave Palmer