Review: Wooster Reports - June 1, 2000
A Fresh Look at Leaders
Leaders from Pericles to Julius Caesar to George Bush are explored in a new collection of essays edited by Vivian Holliday, the Aylesworth Professor of Classics and History emerita and former dean of the faculty. Contributors include current and former Wooster faculty members.
Classical and Modern Narratives of Leadership (Bolchazy-Carducci Publisher, Inc., April 2000) features six essays that
explore the "how" of leadership: how lead-ers create and re-create narratives of leader-ship which, when effective, address issues and values that potential followers perceive as significant to the quality of their lives.
The volume grew out of Wooster's Leadership and Liberal Learning program in which students explore the nature of leadership in a team--taught, interdisciplinary seminar. Holliday directed the program during nine of its 15 years. In the introduc-tion, Holliday notes that, collectively, the essays address a number of major issues, theories and models. "Each can be read independently, but to profit from an interplay of analysis, themes and approaches, all six should be compared one with another," she writes.
In addition to the introduction, Holliday has contributed an essay on Pericles and Augustus. The other authors are Mark Weaver (political science); Raymond G. McCall (English and theatre, emeritus); Mary Addis (Spanish); Eric S. Moskowitz (political science); and Annetta Louise Gomez-Jefferson (theatre and black studies, emerita).
Syndicated columnist William Murchison of the Dallas Morning-News describes the book: "Now here's an assortment of leaders -- Pericles, Machiavelli, Argentine mothers, and an African Methodist Episcopal Bishop -- such as you rarely encounter together, and with worlds to teach about the meaning of leadership itself. The vivid collection could not be more timely, or more useful."
In addition, Ed Hargrove, author of The President as Leader: Appealing to the Better Angels of Our Nature, writes that the new volume "opens theoretical paths to an understanding of political leadership - ancient and modern, literary and empirical. It respects the importance of historical context for understanding specific leaders and yet builds analytical bridges across time [to] permit comparisons."
The book features a preface by Henry Luce III, a Wooster trustee emeritus and chairman and chief executive officer of the Henry Luce Foundation, which provided initial funding for the Leadership and Liberal Learning Program.