2 March 2008

William Styron, The Long March, 1952

A book that teaches a hard lesson in leadership but only if readers can discern it for themselves. A company of US reserve Marines is taken on a cruel and impossibly long march of thirty-six miles by a posturing Colonel, and as expected it all goes badly wrong. Simple enough on the surface, but it exposes the different motives that can operate at different levels of leadership. Styron makes it very believable, first deliberately misdirecting then reversing the reader’s sympathies. A very neat, useful and yet hard-hitting little book.  PY


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