How the Best Did It: Leadership Lessons From Our Top Presidents


How the Best Did It is an accessible and insightful explanation of how the most important leadership traits from America’s eight greatest presidents can be implemented by today’s leaders.

“A discerning examination of what all of us can learn from some of our most effective leaders who have held—and wielded—ultimate power at the highest level.” —Jon Meacham

David O. Stewart (author of George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father) on the George Washington chapter:

“In How the Best Did It, Talmage Boston demonstrates rare gifts in sifting gold nuggets from the endless gravel beds of known facts about eight leading presidents, then delivering them concisely and persuasively.  In his insightful study of George Washington, he finds the core of America’s first great leader without exaggerating his talents, and makes him someone from whom we can learn and cherish.”

 Annette Gordon-Reed (Pulitzer-winning historian, and co-author of Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination) on the Thomas Jefferson chapter:

“Thomas Jefferson was one the most effective American leaders of his time, creating a political party that dominated American politics for more than a quarter of a century. With great insight and clear writing, Talmage Boston brings Jefferson to life as the talented leader who shaped the course of early American society.”

Ronald C. White, Jr. (author of A. Lincoln and three other notable books on Lincoln) on the Abraham Lincoln chapter:

“Talmage Boston offers a wise and wide-ranging understanding of Lincoln’s leadership qualities. What makes Boston’s chapter distinct is the personal questions that challenge the reader to apply Lincoln’s values to their lives today.”

 Douglas Brinkley (author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America) on the Theodore Roosevelt chapter:

“Talmage Boston has entered the field of leadership studies with a head full of steam and a barrel full of fresh ideas. His investigation into Theodore Roosevelt’s distinguished record as U.S. president is deeply illuminating and highly recommended!”

 Doris Kearns Goodwin (Pulitzer-winning author of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II) on the FDR chapter:

 “No president has been more successful than FDR in moving public sentiment forward one step at a time. And no one has been more successful in analyzing the secret of that success than Talmage Boston.  His terrific chapter on FDR provides a riveting account of the critical role Roosevelt’s rhetorical skill played in saving our democracy.”

Evan Thomas (author of Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World) on the Dwight Eisenhower chapter:

“Talmage Boston has provided business leaders—really, any kind of leader—with a fascinating roadmap of the qualities, both subtle and larger than life, that made Dwight Eisenhower a great president. You will wonder, why don’t we have more leaders like Ike? And, if you pay attention, you may learn how to become one.”

 Mark Updegrove (author of Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency) on the JFK chapter:

 “Talmage Boston uses his discerning lawyer’s mind to lay out a compelling case for why John F. Kennedy deserves his lofty historical standing as one of America’s finest presidents. While acknowledging his dark side and outsize flaws, Boston provides keen insight into JFK’s enduring greatness: his propensity to learn on the job, prowess as a crisis manager, and power as an orator.”

Will Inboden (author of The Peacemaker: Ronald Reagan, the Cold War, and the World on the Brink) on the Ronald Reagan chapter:

“While most people agree that Reagan was a consequential president, Talmage Boston shows just how and why he was. Combining extensive research and trenchant insights with compelling prose, Boston distills the essence of Reagan’s leadership qualities. The happy result is a unique blend of expert history and leadership lessons for the 21st century.”