Warriors, Rebels, and Saints

The Art of Leadership from Machiavelli to Malcolm X


By Moshik Temkin

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 7, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

 Do leaders make history or does history make leaders? A deep dive into how we define, seek, and become leaders.

We live in a period of leadership in crisis. At home, and across the globe, we sense that unqualified and irresponsible individuals are being elevated to positions of power, strong men and autocrats are consolidating their hold on governance, and the people are losing faith in the prospect of a better future. How have we arrived at this point? And how can we correct our course?

For the past decade, Moshik Temkin has challenged his students at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and around the world to grapple with the nature of leadership as part of his wildly popular course “Leaders and Leadership in History.” Now, in Warriors, Rebels, and Saints, Temkin refashions the classroom for a wider audience.

Using art, film, and literature to illustrate the drama of the past, Temkin considers how leaders have made decisions in the most difficult circumstances—from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and from the anticolonial wars of the 20th century to the civil rights struggle—and how, in a world desperate for good leadership, we can evaluate those decisions and draw lessons for today.  
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  • "This book is that rare thing among ‘leadership’ titles: a truly original concept...[A]n incredibly well-researched and lively read."
    The Financial Times
  • “A plea for the importance of history in the study of leadership.”
  • “Moshik Temkin brings together deep historical knowledge, cultural comparison, and sophisticated analysis of what makes leadership, and how individual leaders both reflect their society and shape it in turn. This is a book both empathetic and gripping on a subject of huge importance in our turbulent times.”
    Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China's World War II, 1937-45
  • “Ranging across the centuries and around the globe, Moshik Temkin engages questions about leadership that could not be more timely.  In exploring how history both produces and constrains leaders, he offers a thoroughly engaging meditation on a compelling array of individuals who shaped the eras in which they lived. The result is a fascinating, illuminating and cautionary meditation on leadership.”
    Ellen Fitzpatrick, author of The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women's Quest for the American Presidency
  • “In this gem of a book, the accomplished historian and teacher Moshik Temkin performs the crucial task of placing the art of leadership in its historical context. The result is a book chockfull of insights, showing how a careful and unsparing study of past leaders—those who had great power and those who didn’t—can help us identify the attributes we need to see in their successors today.”
    Fredrik Logevall, Laurence D. Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

On Sale
Nov 7, 2023
Page Count
320 pages

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