Monday, December 2, 2019

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts is the bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny; The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War; Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945; Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble; and Napoleon: A Life, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and a finalist for the Plutarch Award. His new book is Leadership in War: Essential Lessons from Those Who Made History.

From Roberts's interview with Andrew Anthony for the Guardian:

There is a tendency to see truly great leaders as men and women of destiny. Is there any value in that belief?

No, I think it’s a form of psychological disorder to think you are specially destined. Napoleon did. Hitler also did. He believed his survival from the assassination plotters on 20 July 1944 was providence. But to believe you’re specially chosen – apart from Jesus – it’s pretty much a prima facie case of psychological disorder. Having said that, we’re very lucky that Winston Churchill did have that extremely egotistical disorder, because it kept him fighting, even when all seemed lost.

What does leadership in war teach us about leadership in peace?

I think this is where the great leadership-studies industry, especially in America, pretty much breaks down. Because they are very different things. We see that again in Churchill’s career: he wasn’t a very good peacetime leader, frankly, but a great wartime one. Which is why when people say that Boris Johnson thinks he’s Winston Churchill, I think...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue