What makes a great leader?
Throughout history, who qualifies? TIME asked a variety of historians, writers, military men, businessmen and others for their selections. MORTIMER ADLER, U.S. philosopher: In Aristotelian terms, the good leader must have ethos, pathos and logos. The ethos is his moral character, the source of his ability to persuade. The pathos is his ability to touch feelings, to move people emotionally. The logos is his ability to give solid reasons for an action, to move people intellectually. By this definition, Pericles of Athens was a great leader. Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, or almost any of the founding fathers —Adams, Madison, Washington. Perhaps Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson as well. GIOVANNI AGNELLI, Italian industrialist: There are at least two kinds of leadership. One is leadership that cannot be challenged, the other is democratic leadership. The most representative leader of the first kind is the Shah of Iran, who rules over a country where he has absolute powers and has transformed his country into a modern state. At the opposite extreme is the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, whose opposition has reached 50%. His country represents the maximum of social evolution. RAYMOND ARON, French historian: If you want to name a great conqueror, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. If you want a legitimate king who was at the same time a statesman and a military commander, Frederick II of Prussia (1712-86). CORRELLI BARNETT, British military historian: Greatness has nothing to do with morality. A leader gets people to follow him. Napoleon led the French to catastrophe, but they followed him almost to the end. Marlborough and Wellington had greatness. And Hitler, unfortunately. Al Capone was a leader in a primitive environment. LUIGI BARZINI, Italian author: Three Italian leaders, fused into one man, could be useful today. The greatest is Julius Caesar, penniless patrician, demagogue, traitor to his class, brilliant lawyer, writer, invincible general, creator of an empire. After him, Lorenzo de' Medici, banker, merchant, poet, who ruled Florence with a firm hand. He invented the balance of power to keep the quarrelsome Italian states at peace. Then Camillo Benso di Cavour, farmer, financier, journalist, businessman, who turned tiny Sardinia into the kingdom of Italy in a matter of months. OMAR BRADLEY, U.S. general: George Marshall. He had the imagination and foresight and leading genius to prepare this nation for war. Franklin Roosevelt —a great President. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles de Gaulle—he pulled France through. I did not agree with him on many points, but he was all Frenchman. WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, U.S. columnist and editor (National Review): Lincoln comes always to mind, because with all that we know now about his flawed historical perspective, the rhythms of his spirit took the soldiers and the poets through the crises of a Civil War. I wish we had, too, some of the Whiggish optimism of Theodore Roosevelt. It may not be our manifest destiny to conquer Khe Sanh, but it ought to be ours to cultivate liberty and subdue the state. HENRY STEELE COMMAGER, U.S. historian: Washington and Jefferson. Both had character and intelligence, and people had confidence in them. Leadership is intangible. You can't define all the parts. MARTIN DIAMOND, U.S. political scientist (Northern Illinois University): In the last 200 years, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and James Madison. Lincoln proved that the highest grace can be attained by a person of ordinary origins. Churchill showed that a person from the aristocracy who excelled in all ways could become a servant of democracy. Madison, a 126-lb. weakling with no charisma, framed perhaps the most incredible document of our time: the U.S. Constitution. Until Madison, no famous or thoughtful person—from Socrates to Montesquieu, from Plato to Hobbes—had ever endorsed democracy. JAMES GAVIN, U.S. lieutenant...
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