Non-Fiction Review: John Antal’s “7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution”

“Contented men do not lead rebellions.”

Mr. Antal has the gift of the pithy quote. This whole work was filled with little gems, perfect for storing and bringing out in conversation.

The strength of Mr. Antal’s personal quotes are matched only by his great use of quotes by historical and venerated figures. You can feel the depth of his research, the solid foundation upon which he has built his facts and thesis.

Each chapter is focused on a key attribute of leadership, broken into smaller components that are a part of that attribute. These are shown to us through the lens of a specific figure in the American Revolution, with a story-telling style that I enjoyed. The way the history is wrapped into the present on each point is very well done, and made for a very meaty read.

I have a great love of history, fostered by excellent teachers. I love that no matter how many times you learn about a subject, there is always more to know. For example, I did not know previously that Henry Knox was a bookseller, or that Benjamin Franklin was 70 years old when he helped edit the Declaration of Independence.

The greatest strength of the book is that the author understands what makes people tick.

“You cannot lead effectively unless your organization understands your vision and acts upon it.”

“…a leader must make his team members feel the cause as much as understand it”

These quotes both exemplify much of the author’s thesis about the American Revolution, as well as his writing style. There is a good balance between the historical focus, and the leadership focus, neither overwhelming the other. I recommend this work as a teaching tool for those first learning about the Revolution, to round out what they are learning and give them more to chew on.

I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley.

 

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