Historian explores secrets of presidential success





America's top presidents exhibited a style of open leadership and fairness that left a lasting impact, says one Pulitzer Prize-winning historian.

Many historians rank George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt as the top U.S. presidents for their ability to bring in rivals and use their own principles to be successful, said David Hackett Fischer.

Fischer spoke Thursday night at Union University as part of the 13th annual Carls-Schwerdfeger History Lecture Series.

The author and professor's topic for the evening was "Leaders in an Open Society: The Presidencies of Washington, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama."

Fischer said Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt developed good leadership qualities that have been modeled by other leaders.

Fischer said Americans can be led when they believe the cause is just. Free people cannot be compelled to follow a leader; they must be inspired and convinced, he said.

Fischer said it's too soon to tell whether President Barack Obama will be successful in all of his endeavors, but early signs show he is conscious of the ways of Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt...


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