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Conversations with Power: What Great Presidents and Prime Ministers Can Teach Us about Leadership Paperback – May 10, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is a collection full of voices that have not been heard enough in America, and the world. Brian Till has spent quality time with some of the most innovative and significant officials of the past few decades, and their experiences and insights are a delight to read, as well as provide an important series of history lessons.” ―Seymour M. Hersh

Conversations with Power reflects one young man's quest for knowledge and reassurance from a fascinating array of past leaders. The result is not only a revealing set of lessons about the possibilities and limitations of power; it is also a challenge to a new generation to take the future into its own hands.” ―Madeleine K. Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State

“This is a marvelous collection. Brian Till has journeyed around the world talking to leaders of all sorts of government about how they got to the top, what they did there, what worked, what did not. His book gives valuable insights into the secrets of power - and how the powerful see the world today.” ―William Shawcross, author of Deliver Us From Evil

“An astonishing range of knowledge is on display here - both in world leaders giving context to their rule, and in the piercing, precise questions Till uses to gain access to the answers...as entertaining as any thriller you'll see this year.” ―Stephen Gaghan, Academy Award-winning writer of Traffic and writer/director of Syriana.

About the Author

Brian Michael Till is a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation and a correspondent for The Atlantic. His columns have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Las Vegas Sun, the Los Angeles Daily News, Newsday, The Oregonian, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the St. Petersburg Times. He has been a guest on NPR's Talk of the Nation and has worked with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and the Treatment Action Campaign in Cape Town, South Africa. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230110584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230110588
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an easy read, meaning you can devote a short amount of time to each chapter, without having to devote yourself to the entire book in one sitting. That said, I would highly recommend reading the entire book. It gave a different insight on political leaders of yesterday in a casual "over coffee" conversation. Very witty and well written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian Till's masterful interviews with former heads of state is a Wizard of Oz moment. He pulls the curtain back and readers are afforded a rare glimpse into the complexity of leadership. Who can leaders trust for advice? Why are they forced to end lifelong friendships? Are they always comfortable with the decisions they make? How do they seek solace from the madness of their jobs? This book should be required reading for every political science, international affairs and journalism student in the world. It is an exceptional masterpiece in figuring out what makes world leads cope with their day job.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished and particularly enjoyed the
conversations with John Keating, Gro, and De Klerk. Also very
interesting that Musharraf told you when speaking about outside protection
for Bhutto and how it would be an insult to Pakistan. "this is
Pakistan, which is 170 million people. It has got 600,000 military. It has
second line forces, the rangers. There is no question, why should
anyone from outside come in?" Very interesting in light of Bin Laden's capture, etc.

Also contains great insight into why Australia is weathering thefinancial crisis so well.
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Format: Paperback
This book could have been titled "My Thoughts About Climate Change." Till centers many of his interview questions around global warming and a handful of other pet issues. He makes no effort to hide his political views and tries to get the interviewees, often not subtly, to agree with his positions. I consider myself a moderate/independent and don't fundamentally disagree with Till on at least some of his favorite topics. I thought, however, that I was going to read a series of unbiased journalistic interviews. Instead, I'm left with a strong impression of Till's political agenda and considerably vaguer impressions of the interviewees. Given the lineup, I was excited before starting the book - someone like Jim Lehrer would have done a great job with this.
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Format: Paperback
In this book, the author intimately portrays some of the world's most enigmatic leaders. Like a fly on the wall, the reader listens in as controversial subjects discuss their motivations, disappointments, regrets, and admonishments for the future. The author asks probing questions, illuminating apartheid South Africa, modern-day Pakistan, Cold War Soviet Union, the Czech Republic's Velvet Revolution, etc. and offers insight into the Clinton 90s. While gaining a more nuanced understanding of key moments in global history, I also found unexpected wit, candor, and hope. An ambitious and well-written book, Conversations With Power is a must read.
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Format: Paperback
Simply put, a GREAT read. Brian's ability to hold an intelligent "conversation" with legitimate "powers" is remarkable for such a young guy. I loved it and highly recommend it for anyone with interest in international politics and/or leadership study.
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