From Publishers Weekly
Applying the insights of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology to political leadership, University of Kentucky emeritus professor of psychiatry Arnold M. Ludwig (How Do We Know Who We Are?) in King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership compares human rulers to primates, arguing that male politicians, like their simian alpha-male cohorts, are adept at gaining, exercising and keeping power. Ludwig then focuses closely on 377 world leaders, including Idi Amin, Tony Blair, Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan examining a string of traits to identify what he considers the factors that determine a leader's greatness: the addition of new territory, military prowess, economic prosperity, etc. Although Ludwig presents exhaustive research, many of his assumptions such as that all societies want a ruler because it's the natural order of things lack support. Moreover, Ludwig quickly loses sight of his (somewhat shaky) thesis that human politicians derive their leadership drive from their primate ancestors. 29 b&w illus.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"The author measures each [leader] on an index of political greatness and explores the common predilection toward conflict and war. This book will serve readers at all levels."―Choice
"Every single page contains something striking and thought-provoking."―Fortean Times
"World politics is made by world leaders. These men (very few are women), who love to present themselves as having their people's interests at heart, are driven by the same desire for power recognized by every primatologist as a universal alpha male characteristic. Based on nearly two thousand profiles of political leaders, King of the Mountain drives this point home as no other book before."―Frans B. M. de Waal, author of Chimpanzee Politics
"A unique and important contribution. . . . The insights and analyses have far-reaching consequences to all fields of human endeavor, especially to politics. . . . Clear, cogent, and at times laced with humor."―George Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society
"An enjoyable book. The statistical tables alone are worth the price."―Journal of the American Medical Association
"There is a richness to Ludwig's approach that is very appealing."―Leadership
"A scholarly attempt to measure political leadership with the cool objectivity of science."―New York Times
"A thoroughly enjoyable read. . . . Ludwig's eye for an anecdote is a good one, and provides much pleasure."―Nth Position
"Well-written, engaging, insightful. . . . Ludwig's book makes a bona fide contribution to the study of leadership."―Rhetoric and Public Affairs
"An arresting book that casts political science out the window and explains leadership through comparisons with chimpanzees, baboons, and gorillas."―Washington Post Book World