Archie Brown's book recommended by Bill Gates

The Myth of the Strong Leader

Archie Brown's book recommended by Bill Gates

7 December 2016

Professor Archie Brown's work The Myth of the Strong Leader (Bodley Head, 2014) has been named by Bill Gates as one of his top 5 reads of 2016. "This year’s fierce election battle prompted me to pick up this 2014 book, by an Oxford University scholar who has studied political leadership—good, bad, and ugly—for more than 50 years. Brown shows that the leaders who make the biggest contributions to history and humanity generally are not the ones we perceive to be “strong leaders.” Instead, they tend to be the ones who collaborate, delegate, and negotiate—and recognize that no one person can or should have all the answers. Brown could not have predicted how resonant his book would become in 2016."

He notes in his full review that "Brown does a wonderful job of showing how the same qualities that seem so appealing in strong leaders can lead, in the mildest cases, to bad decisions—and, in the most extreme cases, to death and suffering on a massive scale. These qualities can be boiled down to a belief, on the part of the leader, that he or she—and usually he—is the only one who knows what the country needs, and the only one who can deliver it... Though The Myth of the Strong Leader is about political leadership, you come away from Brown’s analysis with a deeper understanding of leadership in general."

After teaching for thirty-four years at St Antony's College, Archie Brown became Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University and an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony's from 1 October 2005.