[September 4, 2015] With Labor Day approaching fast and the U.S. presidential campaign heating up, it’s time to sit back and enjoy another good book. I’ve been reading five books simultaneously on a variety of topics but today I wanted to get out my review of one recently released by Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney. My wife told me the book might not satisfy my standard for a worthwhile book on leadership (she’d read reviews on Amazon.com). Alas, whether I agree with the Cheney’s or not, does not mean I will ignore the subject matter or its application to leadership development. Thus, here is my opinion on the book.
Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, 2015.
This is a controversial book, not because of its contents but because it is written in part by Dick Cheney who was a contentious political figure in the Iraq War as Vice President of the United States. To many it is irrelevant what the book is about, they will oppose it vigorously. As a professional however we should reject those who oppose a book’s content because they have a personal animus against the author. The Cheney’s make their point early and clearly when they proclaim that the United States is an “exceptional” nation and has been for the better part of a century – that millions of people owe their freedom and security to the strength of America’s military, economic, political, and diplomatic might. The corollary theme is that the current U.S. President Obama has done everything to overturn this historical record by diminishing its power and retreating from the field of battle. The Cheney’s believe that Obama failed to deliver on the leadership that the world has depended upon for so many decades due to his foreign policy built upon appeasing our adversaries, abandoning our allies, and apologizing for America. This is not a new perspective but the book goes a long way to support the argument that Obama is a destructive influence on American citizens. What I like about the book is that it puts “leadership” up as the critical element needed for the next U.S. president to change the course the United States and they recommend to us how. I’m placing the book on my recommended reading list.
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