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Charisma: a style, an image, a political tool; product of 20th-century communications technology and the oldest skills of the politician; the catalytic factor in the rise (or fall) of four of the world's most complex and fascinating modern political leaders. This is Lacouture's most important book since Vietnam: Between Two Truces. Probing deeply into the philosophical roots of the concept of charisma, Lacouture fully grasps its nature and its workings. First, with careful documentation and intensive analysis, he draws on the writings of Max Weber, as well as on the more heterodox teachings of the East, to flesh out a framework through which the student of modern politics can better view the historical development of charisma into a universally used, generic political device. Then, utilizing both general research and intensified observation of four particular subjects, he demonstrates in extended and acute profiles how charisma has been employed by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (1918-1970, perhaps its most skillful practitioner, who miraculously turned the crushing national defeat of the Six-Day War into a great personal triumph; Habib Bourguiba (1903-2000), President of Tunisia, who seems to have mastered the tactics and strategy of charismatic leadership despite the continually deteriorating political situation in his country; 3) Cambodia's Norodom Sihanouk (1922-2012, ostensibly the most effortless successful charismatic leader of all, until the March 1970 coup showed the fragility of his reign and the shortcomings of the personality approach to governess; and Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), who personally led Ghana from colony to independent republic, consolidated all of government into his own private domain, and then overplayed and abused his privilege until his overthrow in 1966. The Demigods is a major consideration of a central modern political phenomenon. Extensive index.
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Text: English, French (translation)
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Book Description Knopf, 1970. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0394421949