Elizabeth D. Samet brings to this anthology her profound experiences as a teacher and her belief in the vital role of the humanities in cultivating leaders. Here, Samet explores the connection between literature and leadership. She looks at whether leaders are born or whether they are made, and the roles that creativity and imagination play in developing strategic thinkers in business, law, politics, medicine and beyond. Incisive section introductions focus on the skills and qualities that distinguish the unforgettable leaders who come to life in the selections. Readers of Leadership will enjoy its sheer variety: Machiavelli and Milosz, Douglass and Didion are a sampling of the 102 writers and works included. At the same time, they will enter a thought-provoking conversation that is both ancient and crucially current.
Elizabeth D. Samet received her BA from Harvard and her PhD in English literature from Yale. She is the author of No Man's Land: Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America (Macmillan); and Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point (FSG & Picador), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest and was named one of The New York Time's 100 Notable Books of 2007; and Willing Obedience: Citizens, Soldiers, and the Progress of Consent in America, 1776-1898 (Stanford UP). Her essays and reviews have been published in various venues, including The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and The New Republic. Samet is a professor of English at West Point. She speaks often to both civilian and military audiences on the role of literature in shaping future military officers, and she was a member of the Army Chief of Staff's 2011-2012 Task Force on Leader Development. She has appeared on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, and the BBC World Service.