Archie Brown

The Myth of the Strong Leader
  • The Myth of the Strong Leader

  • * UPDATED WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR *

    CHOSEN BY BILL GATES AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016


    Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that 'strong leaders', dominant individual wielders of power, are the most successful and admirable.

    Within authoritarian regimes, a collective leadership is a lesser evil compared with a personal dictatorship. Within democracies, although ‘strong leaders’ are seldom as strong or independent as they purport to be, the idea that just one person is entitled to take the big decisions is harmful and should be resisted.

    Examining Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair amongst many others, this landmark study pinpoints different types and qualities of leadership. Overturning the popular notion of the strong leader, it makes us rethink preconceptions about what it means to lead.

Archie Brown is a British political scientist and historian. He is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford. A Fellow of the British Academy since 1991, Professor Brown was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He has written widely on Soviet and Communist politics, the Cold War, and political leadership.

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