MQ Book Reviews
Reviews of the latest books by Patrick Wilson
Hitler & Churchill - Secrets of Leadership by Andrew Roberts, Weidenfeld £18.99
Churchill and Hitler have to be two of the most written about figures in history, and the idea of comparing them as war leaders is not altogether original. Nevertheless such is the extraordinary influence these men had on the twentieth century that there remains an insatiable appetite to learn more about them. Both became leaders in perilous times, and rallied their respective nations to remarkable feats. Germany was still suffering the ravages of the Great Depression in 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor, while six years later Britain slept walked into war and required Churchill to wake it from its slumber. Indeed the way both men led their countries was to have a profound effect on the Second World War.
Dual biographies can work very well, as Roberts proved in his book Napoleon and Wellington but this is very much a study of comparative leadership rather than another attempt to retell their life stories. Published to coincide with his major four-part BBC2 series, the book examines Hitler and Churchill's remarkable but very different styles of leadership. The way they communicated to their people is just one example of this. Churchill's eloquent fireside broadcasts stand in stark contrast to Hitler's frenzied, emotive, and equally powerful, speeches at massed rallies.
Roberts writes about the 'dichotomy between the charismatic Hitlerian versus the genuinely inspirational Churchillian techniques of leadership.' Roberts provides a fresh insight into the workings of both men. For example, Churchill was considerably more ruthless in his treatment of his staff, while Hitler failed to even sack his alcoholic chief bodyguard.
The Way of the Craftsman, W Kirk MacNulty. Central Regalia, £11.95
Surely the apotheosis of the "wayfarer" analogy is Bunyan's The Pilgrims Progress; subtitled, being an allegory.
The Way of the Craftsman is initially located in Renaissance milieu. Then, MacNulty shifts paradigms to that of a framework for Masonic understanding and development based upon the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung.
Respectively, Freud's model of the personality based upon the id - instinct, ego - rationality and super-ego - conscience; and, Jung's archetypes, a collective and inherited unconscious unifying dreams, images and ritual!
The infinite explanatory power of psychoanalytic theory, and its immunity from refutation, provides enviable scope for the author's creativity, but may be unnecessary for those who do not require a deux ex machina model.
Each Mason is free to choose those personal developmental frameworks that for him make sense, sustain and are sustainable.
The frequent use of the term "Masonic labour" further makes clear that the Masonic temple allegory is founded upon the necessity and reality of material production, and also upon the rationality and responsibility for its appropriate distribution.
Review by Gerald Reilly
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