Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade is a great book! It’s a fascinating slice of history, and a wonderful study of leadership. What it is NOT is a detailed book about Thomas Jefferson.
Kilmeade tells the story of pirates operating in the Mediterranean Sea who plagued European and American shipping for years, forcing President Thomas Jefferson to deal with the problem in the early 1800s.
It is such a great book on leadership because it talks about navy captains, diplomats, and presidents who need to deal with a situation that is much bigger than they can comfortably manage. How do they accomplish the seemingly impossible? Some of them couldn’t, which makes the successes all the more interesting.
This was a very fast read–at times the action seemed like something pulled from a movie or a TV show. The writing by Kilmeade was top notch.
Interestingly, Jefferson is not the central figure in the book, but he is easily the most famous, so I guess that explains the title.
Overall, this was a great book! I’m glad I read it.
The title makes Polk sound like a pretty important president, and he kind of was. There was more info on the Mexican War than I thought there would be. The author paints an unflattering picture of James Buchanan, who was Polk’s Secretary of State and the future 15th president. Polk was an effective leader, but he is portrayed as less of a statesman and more of a partisan politician than I wanted to believe he was. This was quite a good presidential biography. The author was fair in his praise and in his criticism of Polk.
Lewis was a brilliant Christian writer who here tackles one of the most challenging questions Christians face: If God is so full of love, and all-powerful, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Lewis does a great job of dealing with the question in hand, and he does it in a concise fashion. Some might be a little thrown by the depth of the work; others might feel like Lewis backs up too far from the central question and spends too much time getting to the point. Overall, though, and most importantly, he answers the question skillfully in The Problem of Pain. One might get more out of the book, if it was read as part of some kind of group study.
This work is about coaching in the workforce, not the ball field, and as such it is quite useful. The idea behind it is that a leader/boss/manager should not be so quick to try and answer every question posed by employees. The supervisor should encourage independent thinking by means of leading questions. The specific questions Stanier provides are useful, and the book itself could be effectively used not just by employers, but also by people in other dynamics. Interestingly, in various places in the book the author invites readers to go to his Website to watch brief videos elaborating on some of the points covered. It is a nice feature for visual learners. On the other hand, for those who don’t need the visual stimulus, stopping and watching a video might seem a little redundant, and it slowed the process down unnecessarily for me. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Coaching Habit.