27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Great Book With Keen Insight!,
This review is from: Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton (Hardcover)
EYEWITNESS TO POWER is an excellent book on several levels.
One, David Gergen is obviously a pro who has, "been there, done that," and has some truly fascinating insights into the daily workings of the White House under Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. I was most taken with his fair treatment of all of these leaders.He tells many tales of the men - warts and all. Gergen offers praise that might surprise you at times and gets tough at times on presidents he clearly admired.
Two, Gergen does a remarkable job of describing the Nixon White House - before, during and after Watergate. He has plenty bad to say about the demons that haunted Nixon and the hurt it did our country. However, he also looks at Nixon in a balanced perspective that stresses the intellect of the former president and his truly amazing abilities in the international arena. It is during Gergen's look at the Nixon presidency that we see the highs and lows all equally presented and Gergen telling it as he saw it. It is clear he had a great respect for Nixon's strategic mind. At the same time, he gives us an intriguing look at Nixon's personality that foretold his downfall.
Three, This is a book about leadership. EYEWITNESS TO POWER should be read by all of those in positions of leadership - whether in the public sector, private enterprise or running a local organization. He focuses on the leadership abilities of all four of these men and has some very astute observations that will benefit men and women to become better and more effective leaders.
Four, Gergen comes from the communications field. This brings a superb look at these presidents from the perspective of a speechwriter and offers much help to those starting out in public relations and/or journalism.
Finally, Gergen, as a Republican, had an interesting tenure with President Clinton that is described with wit and with a sense of disappointment with what might have been. He is clear about his respect for Bill Clinton's political mind and calls him one of our brightest presidents. On the other hand, he saw a president not quite grown up and "settled down" (no further explanation necessary). However, the bottom line on Bill Clinton is he thinks he is a good man who has a few character flaws that prevented him from being a possibly great president. This portion of the book is very fair and balanced from a lifelong Republican political operative.
I can highly recommend EYEWITNESS TO POWER, not just for political or history junkies, but for anyone who is looking to lead a company, an organization, or maybe even a nation! Gergen, with great insight - gives us a great read.
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Initial post: Feb 21, 2010, 3:28:30 PM PST
C. Moen says:
Thank you for this "spot-on" review. I am always seeking out the most independent viewpoints I can get of highly charged subjects like politics and I believe he did a great job at being objective. I highly recommend it for the bookshelves of all leaders and leaders in training.
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