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Charismatic Leaders Who Remade America

Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: History, Americas

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Publisher's Summary

What is that mysterious thing we call charisma? Where does this magnetic quality come from? Why are we so drawn to it? Are people born charismatic - or do they become that way over time? Can charisma be just as much a force for evil as it is for good?

Answers to questions like these are just as important now, in the 21st century, as they were during the earliest years of the American republic. Much of the nation’s history is inextricably linked with charismatic leaders who’ve inspired mass movements, led democratic progress, fanned the flames of violence, and even taken advantage of the human desire for divine inspiration.

Think of Puritan heretic Anne Hutchinson or celebrity statesman, founding father Benjamin Franklin. Think of leadership guru Dale Carnegie or daytime television queen Oprah Winfrey. Think of presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump. Each of them, in their own way, remade America through their gripping charisma - an allure that gave them the ability to move crowds and societies.

Delivered by Professor Molly Worthen of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this Audible Original offers 10 captivating lessons on how these leaders inspired the public as they remade America. You’ll meet a wide range of characters, from politicians and philosophers to billionaires and cult leaders as you get at the heart of how they used their charisma to shape American history. You’ll also trace the evolution of the idea of charisma, from the ancient notion of God’s anointing power to the insights of both modern psychology and leadership studies.

Crack the code for charisma, and you’ve cracked the code for the American spirit. 

©2020 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul W. Brazis
  • 2020-06-02

Interesting but biased

The course included interesting information about many Academics and historic individuals. However, the course praised Angela Davis and Oprah while making negative statements about Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. The course was very well organized concerning the concept of charismatic individuals but was quite biased concerning conservative politicians. It was well presented and interesting but was marred by the last couple of chapters.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew McKnight
  • 2020-05-22

Fascinating, engaging, and timely

Worthen’s command of history and storytelling paints a fascinating and timely narrative of charisma in American history. Loved it, and pleasantly surprised by how much these lectures made me think about some of America’s most famous figures.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Hamlett
  • 2020-10-16

Cult of Personality

Song title from the eighties. Exposing Reagan and the media as Charismatic Puppets of Celebrity

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  • Carl Weinberg
  • 2020-09-13

Fascinating tour of charismatic leaders

This is a thought-provoking, engaging tour of charismatic leaders in American history. Worthen really succeeds in bringing this diverse cast of characters to life and gets us to think more deeply about the elusive phenomenon of charisma. I learned a lot.

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  • Dr. Mc.
  • 2020-09-02

Engaging and filled with fresh insight

The course was great. So many popular history books on leadership and charisma are pretty thin gruel, (I’m thinking of Doris Kearns Goodwin in particular) but this was engaging and filled with fresh insight.