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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money on this!, May 6, 2013
This review is from: Heroic Leadership: An Influence Taxonomy of 100 Exceptional Individuals (LEADERSHIP: Research and Practice) (Hardcover)
This book is a huge disappointment and doesn't deliver anything near what it's authors and the sycophants quoted say it does. Its content exposes the danger of allowing psychologists to play at being historians. Nearly a third of the individuals or parties cited are actors, celebrities or fictitious entities. Is this what a hero is today in the U.S.? Has America been reduced to putting play actors, 3 dollar bills, or other kinds of superficial "personalities" on a pedestal? Are there no authentic, genuine heros left? Eighty percent of the people cited are Americans. One is left to presume that this is not mistake, but another example of laughable American exceptionalism, and reflects the abysmal level of knowledge and understanding of the world and its peoples outside America's borders. Ulysses S. Grant was a hero? His administration was among the most corrupt in American history. On the battlefield he was a butcher (Cold Harbor). But if you are going to use Americans, why only one whistleblower? Why are people like Jeffrey Wigand, Roger Boisjoly (Space Challenger), Bradley Manning, and the numerous whistleblowers at the Hanford, Washington nuclear plant, not on the list? Where are the intellectual truth tellers like Chris Hedges, Tony Judt or Andrew Bacevich? Or how about activists like Ralph Nader or Naomi Klein? I guess the political leanings of such people are not acceptable to the authors. So those kinds of people have to step aside for Captain Kirk, Harvey Dent, Dirty Harry and a horse (Secretariat). Did John MacGregor Burns really read and critique this book? This book reminds one of what Voltaire once said, "if you can get people to believe in absurdities, you can get them to commit atrocities." You think not? Look at what American drones are doing today in the Middle East. Sadly, what this book also shows is that to these academics, reality is a hologram, and its heros are just images in a holograph. The other party deserving censure is the publisher. Charging $111 for a hard copy of this book? Here's a suggestion. Wait til it ends up in the remainder bin before you order it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 19, 2013 11:14:35 AM PDT
Hi D. Valeri,
I'm sorry you didn't enjoy our book. As we state in the preface, the heroes profiled in the book were generated by participants in our surveys who were asked to list their heroes. So these aren't so much our choices as they are everyday people's choices. Many of the heroes we've profiled are certainly not my own heroes but they are somebody's heroes, and this is consistent with our position that heroism is in the eye of the beholder. You most certainly make a great point that heroism should be reserved for people who perform the most exemplary behaviors, but we've found in our research that there is widespread disagreement here. Our book provides a model for explaining some of this variance. Consider our idea of Transitional Heroes -- young teens might consider LeBron James or Justin Bieber a hero, but it's likely they'll outgrow this stage and acquire more worthy heroes later in life. You're also right about the American bias in our profiled heroes, and this reflects the fact that the majority of our participants whom we sampled were Americans.
You are certainly not the first person whom we've angered about our selection of heroes and you no doubt won't be the last. As long as people keep supplying us with lists of heroes, we'll keep studying them, even if they don't meet your or my definition of a hero. We encourage you to visit our HEROES blog where we discuss these issues at greater length -- blog.richmond.edu/heroes.
Thanks for commenting, and please don't ever lose your idealism about heroes. We need more people like you.
Best wishes,
Scott Allison

Posted on May 28, 2013 11:51:58 AM PDT
I'm a little fuzzy on how drone bombings worked into this.
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D. Valeri
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