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The Case for GreatnessHonorable Ambition and Its Critics$
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Robert Faulkner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300123937

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300123937.001.0001

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Introduction: Honorable Statesmen and Obscuring Theories

Introduction: Honorable Statesmen and Obscuring Theories

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: Honorable Statesmen and Obscuring Theories
The Case for Greatness

Robert Faulkner

Yale University Press

This chapter introduces the purpose of the book in discussing individuals with great political ambition, particularly its good version. It looks at the lives and examples of a number of politicians and leaders and their efforts at defending, reforming, and founding a free country. Of these examples are Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill, who for many of their free contemporaries appear larger and better than life. The chapter looks at the big divide between the acknowledgement and appreciation of greatness that arises among thoughtful citizens and appreciative historians, and the doubting cynicism of many contemporaries who generalize about human affairs. It looks at the example of ambition, wherein understanding the underlying motives of the ambitious candidate proves difficult to distinguish. What separates the ambitious candidate from the careerist or moneymaker, for example? This is the question that this chapter and this book addresses.

Keywords:   political ambition, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, ambitious candidate, careerist, moneymaker, candidate

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