Books by Bruce Miroff

Released: March 17, 1993

"Miroff ably demonstrates the paradoxes that lie at the heart of leadership, and shows how the noblest qualities of our best leaders can be a threat to democracy."
Miroff (Political Science/SUNY at Albany; Pragmatic Illusions, 1976) thoughtfully examines the lives of nine disparate American leaders, ``seeking to read from their stories the possibilities, limitations, and dangers of American political leadership.'' Miroff fits his subjects into four paradigmatic categories: ``aristocratic'' leaders of the early republic, like Hamilton and John Adams, strong-willed elitists who led passive followers; their modern successors, ``heroic'' leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and JFK, who, in distinctive ways, wielded power like kings; the ``democratic'' leaders like Lincoln and FDR, who balanced personal styles of leadership with a commitment to increasing the democratic enfranchisement of the American people; and the ``dissenters,'' like Eugene Debs, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Martin Luther King, Jr., who, in resisting the prevailing order, sought to bring politically powerless groups into civic life. Read full book review >