Jefferson was the rare leader who stood out from the crowd without intimidating it.
Too many activists have convinced themselves that they have a monopoly on truth. A little humility and a sense of history could move us all forward.
A politician’s task was to bring reality and policy into the greatest possible account with the ideal and the principled.
Roosevelt could be very cold.
He turned the presidency – and the President’s House – into something it had not been before: a center of curiosity and inquiry, of vibrant institution that played informal but important roles in the broader...
They enjoyed each other and they liked each other’s company. They got along brilliantly.
Politics was at once clinical and human, driven by principles and passions that he (the leader) had to master and harness for the good of the whole.
They wanted to kill each other, or to kill for each other.
No government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as duty.
The powerful emotional connection between Roosevelt and Churchill and how they confronted tyranny and terror is an incredibly contemporary story that yields important lessons for leaders today on a personal, political, and diplomatic level.
Broadly put, philosophers think: politicians maneuver. Jefferson’s genius was that he was both and could do both, often simultaneously. Such is the art of power.
Always take all the time to reflect that circumstances permit, but when the time for action has come, stop thinking. (Andrew Jackson)
But they had a fight about it. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
There is usually a moment in the life of a new president when he begins to see himself not as an aspirant desperate to win but as a statesman above the squalor and sweat of...
As much as Jefferson loved France residence abroad gave him greater appreciation for his own nation. He was a tireless advocate for things American while abroad, and a promoter of things European while at home....
Steadiness of faith, was, in the long run, as illuminating and essential as sophistication of thought.
The Jefferson style – cultivate his elders, make himself pleasant to his contemporaries, and used his pen and his intellect to shape the debate – arm him well for the national arena.
For Jefferson, William and Mary was largely about what university life is supposed to be about: reading books, enjoying the company of like-minded, and savoring teachers who seemed to be ambassadors from other, richer, writer...
The political nature of man made it highly unlikely that a society designed to meet regularly would remain peaceable. “The way to make friends quarrel is to pit them in disputation under the public eye,”...
Jackson lead as he lived, sometimes with his heart, sometimes with his mind, sometimes with both.
Sometimes paranoids have enemies, and conspiracies are only laughable when they fail to materialize.
Jefferson was ambivalent about executive power – until he bore executive responsibility.
It’s Shakespeare, to have a single family in which human flaws and virtues are on such vivid display—and the constant struggle between those vices and those virtues to try to do good and fulfill one’s...
Leadership meant knowing how to distill complexity into a comprehensible message to reach the hearts as well as the minds of the larger world.
In the closed circle of the war cabinet, pounded by terrible report after terrible report, there had been uncertainty about whether he could fend off the drift to exploring a deal with Hitler. The determination...
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