A Norton Anthology that illuminates how literature can help build ethically responsible leaders.
What is the connection between literature and leadership? Are leaders born or are they made? Elizabeth D. Samet, the author of the award-winning Soldier’s Heart and a professor of English at West Point, brings to this anthology her profound experiences as a teacher of soldiers, her discerning ear for excellent writing, and her belief in the vital role of the humanities in cultivating leaders. Great writers and thinkers in conversation?that is what makes Samet’s approach distinctive. Samet organizes the writings around the essence of leadership?the insights, skills, and actions that effective leaders, with time and experience, learn to live by. What are these insights, skills, and actions? Newcomers to any organization must first study the system, then find and emulate models, risk change, cultivate trust, negotiate, take responsibility, learn from failure, learn to resist, innovate, discipline desire, and eventually let go. These ideas, brought to life in selections written by or about unforgettable leaders?be they heroic, quixotic, or villainous?shape the book. Machiavelli, Macbeth, and Milosz, Ghandi and Gawande, Douglass and Didion are just a sampling of the 102 writers and works included. Readers of Leadership will enjoy its sheer variety at the same time that they enter a thought-provoking, often moving conversation that is both ancient and crucially current