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History Personified

"History Personified" is a history podcast that takes listeners deeper into different historical stories and eras. From military, to politics, to film, television, and radio, to sports, and more, "History Personified" will help bring listeners closer to the stories behind interesting historical events and figures.
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"History Personified"

Apr 21, 2017

How important is charisma and speaking ability when it comes to being a great leader? On this week's show, we're discussing this question, using three-time U.S. presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan as an example. Professor and author Jeremy C. Young's new book, "The Age of Charisma: Leaders, Followers, and Emotions in American Society, 1870–1940," looks at leaders like Bryan, Teddy Roosevelt, Billy Sunday, and others from the 1870-1940 timeframe, which Young has labeled "The Age of Charisma." 

William Jennings Bryan was known for his stirring speeches and populist platform. Known as "The Great Commoner," Bryan was a two-time member of the House of Representatives, and was also Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson before resigning due to his pacifist stance. He stood against trusts and big banks, promoted "free silver," supported Prohibition, and argued against famous lawyer Clarence Darrow in the noted Scopes Trial. How much did Bryan's speaking ability contribute to his popularity? We break it down. 

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