Ideas

History's People: Personalities & The Past, Lecture 1

In the 2015 CBC Massey Lectures, the great Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan explores some of the people - good and bad, dreamers, explorers and adventurers - who have shaped their times and ours. One historian's view of the people of the past who have intrigued, horrified or engaged her.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America.
Listen to the full episode53:58

In the 2015 CBC Massey Lectures, the great Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan explores some of the people -  good and bad, dreamers, explorers and adventurers - who have shaped their times and ours. One historian's view of the people of the past who have intrigued, horrified or engaged her. **This episode originally aired November 2, 2015.

"The successful leader must have, to start with, ambition, even ruthless ambition."

Leadership comes in many shapes. What should we make of Otto von Bismarck, the maker of modern Germany? Brilliant, ruthless and cynical, he was feared by most and hated by many. But he was effective.

William Lyon Mackenzie King? For all his sins of prevarication and dullness, he held the centre, keeping the country united against challenges from both right and left.

And Roosevelt? FDR gave Americans confidence in themselves and hope for the future. 

Watch Margaret MacMillan on the art of political persuasion in this excerpt from the web series and TV special "The Art Leading"
Persuasion is a talent. Push too hard and you risk creating enemies. Nudge too lightly, and you may not get anywhere. That’s why some of the most effective leaders in all of history — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Barack Obama — have been masters of persuasion. 6:07

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