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