The Spellbinders

Charismatic Political Leadership

Ann Ruth Willner

View Inside Price: $24.00


September 10, 1985
212 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
ISBN: 9780300034059
Paper

What causes a group of people or an entire nation to fall under the spell of a leader? In this fascinating book, Willner explains the nature of charismatic political leadership and the processes by which it comes into being, illustrating her work with engrossing examples from the careers of such charismatic political leaders of the twentieth century as Gandhi, Sukarno, and Hitler.
"A manual for potential charismatic leaders. Candidates for President . . . would do well to refer to it. Ordinary citizens would do even better to read it, so they can recognize charismatic appeals that might mislead, as well as lead, our society."-- Bruce Mazlish, The New York Times Book Review
"Of exceptional value for social scientists and even administrators, this should also interest educated general readers. Highly recommended."-- David Steiniche, Library Journal
"An ingenious and useful book."-- Anatole Broyard, The New York Times
"A book of impeccable scholarly quality and of immensely rich and even exciting material."-- James MacGregor Burns, Williams College
"The book should be of wide interest, especially to those political leaders – many of them in the Third World – who see themselves as charismatic merely because they have acquired power."-- T. J. S. George, Asiaweek

"A manual for potential charismatic leaders. Candidates for President . . . would do well to refer to it. Ordinary citizens would do even better to read it, so they can recognize charismatic appeals that might mislead, as well as lead, our society."—Bruce Mazlish, New York Times Book Review

 

"Of exceptional value for social scientists and even administrators, this should also interest educated general readers. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

 

"An ingenious and useful book."—Anatole Broyard, New York Times

 

"A book of impeccable scholarly quality and of immensely rich and even exciting material."—James MacGregor Burns, Williams College

 

"The book should be of wide interest, especially to those political leaders—many of them in the Third World – who see themselves as charismatic merely because they have acquired power."—T. J. S. George, Asiaweek

"Using the careers of such figures as Gandhi, Roosevelt, Hitler and Castro, a political scientist analyzes the elements that contributed to and helped develop their charisma.  Of particular interest is her brief look at the personality of Ayatollah Khomeni."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"While charismatic leadership continues to fascinate social observers, it has remained a little understood phenomenon.  Ann Ruth Willner furthers our understanding considerably.  Concentrating on six figures, she provides a descriptively rich discussion that goes far toward explaining what charisma is and how it arises."—Ethics

"The clearest, most comprehensive, and best reasoned study of charismatic leadership so far—a very significant contribution."—Dankwart A. Rustow, Brooklyn College

"A book of impeccable scholarly quality and of immensely rich and even exciting material."—James MacGregor Burns, Williams College

"Willner's book makes a magnificent contribution to our understanding of charismatic leaders, good and bad. She has analyzed in depth the role of spellbinders in world history and their worshipful followers. It's a great education."—Helen Thomas, U.P.I. White House Bureau Chief

"Will be of substantial service to those in the author's field."—Susan Monsky, Boston Globe

"The Spellbinders establishes more than any other book before it the validity of the study of charismatic leadership. . . . For is we are to grasp the reasons for the extraordinary political power wielded by these remarkable mass mobilizers—some of them leaders of the largest political movements in history—then Ann Ruth Willner has, through decades of sustained effort, put us on the right path of enquiry."—Dennis Dalton, Political Science Quarterly

"[Willner] illustrates her point with gripping details and brings forth careers of charismatic political leaders of the twentieth century."—Colonel Ghulam Sarwar, World Islamic Times