Winter/Spring 2009

Ethical Leadership in an Unethical World

Savage Century: Back to Barbarism
By Thérèse Delpech, Translated By George Holoch

Reviewed by William J. Peterson Jr.

In her book, Savage Century: Back to Barbarism, Thérèse Delpech blends her unique talents as strategist and historian into a forceful reminder of how the violence on an unprecedented scale that marked the 20th century was primarily a result of weak and mindless leadership. In offering this analysis, she is not writing history for its own sake, but offering a warning that similar fecklessness now could breed even greater violence in our century. Her book provides its insights into history in order to illustrate why strong political leadership is so important now. Written in French in 2005, the book only recently appeared in English, and it still seems right on target. With a global financial system teetering, the fight against terrorism continuing and a new more multi-polar world emerging unsteadily, leaders would be well-advised to bear in mind her account of how crises that start on “the periphery” of the geo-political centers can, if not recognized, gradually engulf the center in a global upheaval.