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Are strong leaders overrated?

Archie Brown’s book about political leaders is undermined by his loathing of one of them in particular

By Ferdinand Mount   April 2014

Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher in London in 1987 ©Getty Images

The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age by Archie Brown (Bodley Head, £25)

Archie Brown does not say so, but I cannot resist guessing the exact moment at which he was provoked into writing this book. It was, I fancy, when he got to page two of the introduction to Tony Blair’s memoirs, the bit where our hero reminds us that “I won three elections.” “No, you didn’t,” I imagine Professor Brown shouting as he hurled the…

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