King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership

King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership

by Arnold M. Ludwig
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813190681

ISBN-13: 9780813190686

Pub. Date: 03/14/2008

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

People may choose to ignore their animal heritage by interpreting their behavior as divinely inspired, socially purposeful, or even self-serving, all of which they attribute to being human, but they masticate, fornicate, and procreate, much as chimps and apes do, so they should have little cause to get upset if they learn that they act like other primates when they

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Overview

People may choose to ignore their animal heritage by interpreting their behavior as divinely inspired, socially purposeful, or even self-serving, all of which they attribute to being human, but they masticate, fornicate, and procreate, much as chimps and apes do, so they should have little cause to get upset if they learn that they act like other primates when they politically agitate, debate, abdicate, placate, and administrate, too." — from the book King of the Mountain presents the startling findings of Arnold M. Ludwig's eighteen-year investigation into why people want to rule. The answer may seem obvious — power, privilege, and perks — but any adequate answer also needs to explain why so many rulers cling to power even when they are miserable, trust nobody, feel besieged, and face almost certain death. Ludwig's results suggest that leaders of nations tend to act remarkably like monkeys and apes in the way they come to power, govern, and rule. Profiling every ruler of a recognized country in the twentieth century — over 1,900 people in all­­, Ludwig establishes how rulers came to power, how they lost power, the dangers they faced, and the odds of their being assassinated, committing suicide, or dying a natural death. Then, concentrating on a smaller sub-set of 377 rulers for whom more extensive personal information was available, he compares six different kinds of leaders, examining their characteristics, their childhoods, and their mental stability or instability to identify the main predictors of later political success. Ludwig's penetrating observations, though presented in a lighthearted and entertaining way, offer important insight into why humans have engaged in war throughout recorded history as well as suggesting how they might live together in peace.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813190686
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
03/14/2008
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
794,167
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction
1Why rulers rule1
2It's a man's world22
3The perks of power50
4A dangerous game79
5Rearing rulers126
6Little acorns into mighty oaks170
7Of sound mind??221
8The measure of political greatness316
10Warmongers or peacemakers?354
App. A : sample of rulers379
App. B : methodology389
App. C : data collection and statistics399
App. DPolitical greatness scale403
Notes409
Statistics433
Acknowledgments463
Index465

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