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Publisher's Summary

What essential leadership lessons do we learn by distilling the actions and ideas of great military commanders such as George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Colin Powell? That is the fundamental question underlying The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell. The book illustrates that great leaders become great through conscious effort - a commitment not only to develop vital skills but also to surmount personal shortcomings.

Harry S. Laver, Jeffrey J. Matthews, and the other contributing authors identify nine core characteristics of highly effective leadership, such as integrity, determination, vision, and charisma, and nine significant figures in American military history whose careers embody those qualities. The Art of Command examines each figure's strengths and weaknesses and how those attributes affected their leadership abilities, offering a unique perspective of military leadership in American history. Laver and Matthews have assembled a list of contributors from military, academic, and professional circles, which allows the book to encompass diverse approaches to the study of leadership.

©2008 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"These essays form a pattern of leadership descriptions that represent the best of the art of command." ( Journal of America's Military Past)
"Art of Command excels. The reader can follow each leader from inauspicious beginnings to greatness in the course of a short story that chronicles the development of a particular quality in that leader. ( Marine Corps University Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Jimmy
  • Lubbock, TX, United States
  • 04-15-15

Great essays on leadership

The authors did a great job of selecting both leadership characteristics and individuals who modeled them. Great book with a lot of interesting history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding Leaders and Leadership Summaries

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell the most enjoyable?

Each leader's story was told in concise easy to listen to segments; perfect for listening to in the car. You look forward to hearing about the next leaders. The author spoke of some of the more famous leaders but also spoke of a few that you don't hear about that often but have a lot to offer. There was plenty of information to keep you interested without feeling as if you were being lectured.

What did you like best about this story?

All the leaders' stories were good and the time taken to present the lesson was just right to keep your interest and not be overwhelming.

Any additional comments?

The author covered some leaders that you always hear mentioned, but he also spoke about some leaders, such as Admiral Rickover and Gen. Hap Arnold, who don't get as much attention as a Patton or MacArthur. It was informative. I learned something and at the same time, was entertained.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book

highly recommended book for all leaders in any industry. list of traits in the book should be followed for success.

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Excellent overview on leadership

Very good book for all that are leaders or aspire to leadership positions in or out of the military. For former marines you will love the Chesty Puller chapter.

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Wonderful collection of essays on American leaders

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell the most enjoyable?

The essays are very well written and extremely well researched. Each highlighted leader had their own leadership style that leaders and managers should strive to emulate.

What other book might you compare The Art of Command: Military Leadership from George Washington to Colin Powell to and why?

The face of battle, John Keegan; Leading Change, John Kotter

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was choppy in some spots put over all decent

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I took lots of notes

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Great leadership essays

Very easy listening! Detailed and thought provoking summaries of historic leadership in the military. I also found this helpful to help draft my own personal leadership philosophy.

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  • M
  • 05-23-13

Attention! Left face .... March

Some of the examples are good some poor.
It's more a study of leadership styles and is very rose tinted but it certainly has some good stuff in it.