On today’s show, I talk with Elizabeth Samet, Professor of English at the United State Military Academy at West Point and author of the anthology Leadership: Essential Writings by Our Greatest Thinkers.  Samet uses literature to teach cadets how to lead in the grand sense; that is, how to be thoughtful, strategic, ethical, principled and purposeful.  In the show today she shares some of the stories from the anthology, each with a specific lesson on leadership and living the good life.


  • How Pericles used rhetoric to rally the people of Athens during the Peloponnesian War
  • How a metaphor from Moby Dick is still relevant today
  • Why Seneca deliberately set up his quarters above a noisy public bath
  • How the Roman General Fabius Maximus used strategic “delay” to win a war
  • How President Abraham Lincoln exercised his judgment and decision-making skills


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