April 19, 2010
Lessons on Leadership
My reading yesterday was a huge departure from the previous two days. My husband will be teaching a course on "leadership," and while we were searching rows and rows of books at bookstores and libraries for reading on the subject (I think he should write his own book, by the way), I came across John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.
The 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner, Kennedy's book presents a mini-biography of eight extraordinary senators who committed acts requiring courage that changed the men and sometimes the course of history. The book introduced new characters to me and gave me broader perspective on those I had heard of. It definitely illustrated, if it did not define, "leadership."
In a book I read earlier in the month that reminds me of this one, David McCullough said, "We have not had a president of the United States with a sense of history since John Kennedy." I believe that to be true, unless you consider that they have a sense of their own history. He suggests that we should have a history requirement for the presidency ... I think we should at least require that all members of Congress read Kennedy's book.