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King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership Paperback – May 7, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"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
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Top Customer Reviews
In an on air interview with the author, Brian Lamb the host, interviews Arnold Ludwig:
Ludwig comments that "as I got into my work more and more, a number of questions began emerging that I could not answer, that puzzled me. For example, why was it that there were so few women rulers in the 20th century?"
He goes on to say "There were a total of 27 out of 1,941, which the percentage was 1.4 percent. And of those, half of them -- at least half -- were either wives of some famous politician, they'd borrowed their husbands' charisma, or daughters of him. And so that left -- if you look at just women who have made it on their own, that was about .75 percent. So the chances of a woman becoming a ruler in the 20th century were less than 100-to-1 odds, over 100-to-1 odds against it."
Mr Lamb then asks Ludwig about his "Political Greatness Scale" and says "the number one leader you found in the 20th century, from your political greatness scale, was Ataturk." and goes on to ask "But why Ataturk?" and Ludwig answers: "Let's look at what Ataturk did. And again, mind you, take this in the context of some of the other great leaders that -- some of the immortals I've mentioned. Ataturk created -- started Turkey. He dismantled the Ottoman empire, which was in existence at the time. He not only was the founder of the country, creating a country, but he caused a profound social change in Turkey.Read more ›
Of the many interesting points that he makes, one is that he can explain one of the universal traits of human politics--that the highest positions of political rule tend to be filled predominantly by men. Political scientists rarely acknowledge--much less explain--this remarkable pattern of male dominance. Ludwig explains it as a manifestation of male primate tendencies rooted in the neurophysiology of the male as shaped by natural selection in evolutionary history. (Surprisingly, Ludwig does not mention Steven Goldberg's book WHY MEN RULE, which makes a similar argument.)
There is one bright spot in Ludwig's otherwise dark vision of politics dominated by Machiavellian brutality--he shows that democratic leaders in established democracies act with more restraint than those in other kinds of regimes. He doesn't explain this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have purchased this book several times because I've given it away as gifts. This is a great read.Published 22 months ago by Richard Price
Dr. Ludwig takes a look at everyone who was leader of a country, and held political power as such, in the twentieth century: dictators, kings, prime ministers, presidents. Read morePublished on April 16, 2014 by willmonk
This book is one of the books that bring enlightenment to many issues and questions you may be wondering about the people of politics. I am so glad that I found it.Published on April 8, 2014 by N. Sinem Gokalp
Outstanding book I learned so much about world leaders that one never had any inside information about, This books gives the reader a lot to think about because it compares our... Read morePublished on September 1, 2013 by E. Odonnell
This was a product for my husband. He has tried to get all of it read , but still likes a ew more pages. He has been helping a friend out and this has taken a lot o his time.Published on April 11, 2013 by Dana G. Boyd
An excellent research result, that has lasted for 18 years from one of the most prominent phyciatrist. Read morePublished on February 24, 2009 by Prof Dr M. Karatay