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Churchill’s Radical War Leadership

DOI: 10.4236/ojl.2015.41001    3,271 Downloads   4,555 Views  

ABSTRACT

Winston Churchill is, rightly, hailed as a great war-leader. In 1940, when the German armies were all-powerful, and an invasion of Great Britain seemed imminent, morale in Great Britain was slipping. Churchill, with nothing more than his speeches, managed to inspire the nation and prevent a collapse of morale. That he was able to do this is remarkable. Contrary to common belief, he was not a “great commoner”, he was a maverick politician who was far from the mainstream, and far from trusted. The person of Winston Churchill can hardly have been inspiring. To understand how Churchill nevertheless managed to rally the nation, his speeches are analysed from the viewpoint of Saul Alinsky’s “rules for radicals”, a method of action devised to empower powerless communities. Churchill used many of Alinsky’s rules, and this, rather than supposed inspirational leadership capabilities of Churchill, explains why he could influence morale in Great Britain.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Hoogenboezem, J. (2015) Churchill’s Radical War Leadership. Open Journal of Leadership, 4, 1-11. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2015.41001.

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