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Mickey Edwards
Political leader

Mickey Edwards

Former U.S. Congressman, Mickey Edwards is vice president of the Aspen Institute, where he directs the Institute's Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.

"Henry V"

Perhaps the most provocative leadership movie in recent years has been Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, which dealt dramatically with the king's efforts at coalition-building, his decisions when confronted with a choice between leniency and control (the hanging of a one-time friend), his rallying of dispirited and rebellious troops, and even his post-victory approaches to the integration of conquered territory into his own mini-empire.

For the modern viewer, however, the movie is most useful as a model for evaluating what a representative democracy requires of its decision makers. While George
W. Bush sometimes approximated the Henry V model, relying on a small cohort of advisers, modern lawmakers are bound by procedures and constraints that require a greater effort to win approval from various constituencies and less freedom to simply decree a course of action. In viewing Henry V, one should separate evaluation of the king's actions, on the one hand, and the very different circumstances which bind a would-be "decider" today.

By Mickey Edwards

 |  February 17, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
Category:  Pop culture Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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What you oh so smart folks miss about HenryV is the most important part which that which has been lost /put aside form by 20th and 21st cent "leaders". Henry didn't just inspire, HE WAS OUT IN FRONT WITH HIS GUYS! not languishing in an overstuffed insulated capital city pretending to understand what the world is about. He actually risked his a$$ - how many US "leaders" are doing that? - physically, financially or any other way

Posted by: Americanwoman4 | February 19, 2009 6:08 PM
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