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Does leadership matter?

Leaders shape history less than they think—with some exceptions

By Archie Brown   March 2016

President Richard Nixon dines with Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier, and Zhang Chunqiao, the Shanghai Communist Party Leader, during his visit to China in 1972 ©History/Bridgeman Images

Read more by Archie Brown: Getting Gorbachev right 

History’s People: Personalities and the Past by Margaret MacMillan, Profile, £12.99

Mistaken though he was in elevating his own hopes and expectations into inexorable laws of history, Karl…

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