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Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice by Rakesh Khurana, Nitin Nohria

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11

LEADERSHIP AND HISTORY

Walter A. Friedman

Introduction

Historians have written a lot about leaders, especially successful ones. Over one thousand biographies of Abraham Lincoln are listed in the catalog of the Harvard University libraries. Comparatively little has been written about the people who lost to him in the presidential election of 1860: John C. Breckinridge (four books), John Bell (three books), and Stephen Douglas (about fifty). There are also many histories of business leaders. The most popular figure, Andrew Carnegie, is the subject of over sixty biographies listed in the Harvard catalog, including several in languages other than English. Carnegie has emerged as the “Lincoln” of the business world, the embodiment, as one historian ...

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