In previous civilizations, kings were often thought to be divine in origin or at least in
appointment. In contrast, we elect our own presidents. And they share our frailties.
The vices and virtues of the former White House occupants have been well documented.
But what makes a great leader, or even a statesman? And why are there so few? We
shall consider some of their good and bad characteristics as we look back at our presidents. In doing so,
we must remember that our chief executives are often reflections of the society that elects them.
Abraham Lincoln: Leader for all Ages
The former U.S. Attorney General considers the leadership of our 16th president.
The Life of Calvin Coolidge
Dr. Michael Platt
Calvin Coolidge, often scourged by modern historians, may have been one of the most
decent and wisest men ever to occupy the White House.
The Founders' View of Character and the Presidency
Scott R. Stripling
America's Founders thought of the presidency in terms of human nature itself.
In doing so they provide a lesson regarding the fragility of self-rule.
Slavery, Constitution and War
(Letter to A. G. Hodges)
In this brief letter, President Lincoln relates the question of slavery with that
of protecting the Union. It is instructive in revealing the factors and principles
that go into making fundamental choices, something all great leaders must do.
In this most famous address, Washington states, among other things, that religion
is necessary for political prosperity.
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