In this rich and illuminating book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author Robert Coles creates a portrait of moral leadership--what it is, and how it is achieved--through stories of people who have led and inspired him: Robert Kennedy, Dorothy Day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Erik Erikson, a Boston bus driver, teachers in college, medical school, and elementary school, among others.
Coles tells how to be a moral leader and shows how the intervention of one person can change the course of history, as well as influence the day-to-day quality of life in our homes, schools, communities, and nation. We need to "hand one another along" in life, says Coles, quoting his friend Walker Percy, and in Lives of Moral Leadership he explores how each of us can be engaged in a continual and mutual life-giving process of personal and national leadership development. Coles discusses how the actions of the American president affect the way people feel about themselves and the country, and-citing the influence of Shakespeare's Henry V on Robert Kennedy, and of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina on his own mother--explains how reading literature can motivate action and growth. The way in which moral leaders emerge today, and for all time, comes vividly to light in this brilliant book by one of America's finest teachers and writers.
Praise for Robert Coles
"Robert Coles should be declared a national treasure." -- The Washington Post Book World
"An important, illuminating book." -- The New York Times Book Review, about The Moral Intelligence of Children
"Robert Coles . . . has told us more about the diverse and complex lives of children than any other scholar of his generation." -- Alvin P. Sanoff, U.S. News & World Report, about The Spiritual Life of Children
"A timely, perhaps even timeless, summons to examine the question of moral example and rectitude." -- Kirkus Reviews, about Lives of Moral Leadership
Robert Coles is a professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at the Harvard Medical School and a research psychiatrist for the Harvard University Health Services. His many books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning five-volume Children of Crisis and the bestselling The Moral Intelligence of Children and The Spiritual Intelligence of Children. He is also the James Agee Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard. He lives in Massachusetts.