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Living, Leading, and the American Dream

John W. Gardner
Edited by Francesca Gardner and Foreword by Bill Moyers

Retail Price: $27.95
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Format: Hardcover, 224pp.
ISBN: 9780787966782
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Pub. Date: May 2003

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

"Liberty and duty, freedom and responsibility. That's the deal." John W. Gardner's life was dedicated to revitalizing the American Dream, a dream that must be recreated by each generation of caring citizens as they reshape it to meet the unrolling future. Now more than ever, citizens must step up and take action to create the world in which we want to live.

Living, Leading, and the American Dream is an inspiration—and a call to action. Beginning with an exploration of Gardner's life and values in his own words, this stirring and engaging collection shares Gardner's vision on personal renewal, community, leadership, and civic engagement.

The essays and speeches collected in this transformational volume are founded on Gardner's belief that we as a people want freedom—freedom at home as well as a world where freedom is possible. They are founded on his deep belief in the dignity and worth of the individual and his unshakable resolve to protect and preserve that dignity. They are founded on his belief that men and women should be empowered to achieve the best that is in them, and that we are the declared enemies of all conditions, such as disease, ignorance, or poverty, that stunt the individual and prevent such fulfillment.

And they are founded on the fact that achieving these goals is difficult and requires the commitment of all citizens. The essays in Living, Leading, and the American Dream move from individual to community to society, offering Gardner's vision on the role of the individual in attaining the greater good. Leaders of innovative organizations, civic leaders, and concerned citizens will find guidance and inspiration in Gardner's unique vision of every citizen's responsibility and capacity to make a difference.


"As an educator and social activist, John Gardner gave so much to the benefit of our communities, states, and nation."
—The Honorable Jimmy Carter

"John Gardner embodied the excellence he taught. This sampling of a noble life will keep alive the breadth of his perceptions and the depth of his commitment to a more rational, more caring society"
—Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst, National Public Radio

"Intellectual, activist, gadfly, leader, dreamer, and realist, John Gardner held a wry and joyous faith in the capacity of all Americans to renew themselves and our country. This inspiring collection of his insights and his vision is his parting gift to all who share that faith—or need to be reminded of it."
—The Honorable Timothy E. Wirth, president, United Nations Foundation

"John always said 'leaders find the words,' and it was never more true than in his own writings. This book is a great gift, enabling his spirit and inspiration to keep guiding our lives in meaningful directions, like the treasured mentor and companion he was for so many."
—Robert L. Joss, dean, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

"Living, Leading, and the American Dream is an invaluable collection of John Gardner's wise lessons on how to be a strong leader, a committed citizen, and a thoughtful, productive individual—a true gift from a truly great man in an age when all three are so badly needed."
—Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund

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About the Author

John W. Gardner was Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, as well as a member of various presidential panels during the Kennedy, Carter, and Reagan administrations. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he played an instrumental role in a vast array of enterprises throughout his remarkable career, including the White House Fellows Program, public television, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, the Experience Corps, and the founding of Common Cause in 1970.

Table of Contents

About John W. Gardner
About the Editor
Pt. 1A Life in Action - and Reflection
1Glimpses of My Life3
2In the President's Cabinet11
3Leading Common Cause29
Pt. 2The Courage to Live and Learn
4Personal Renewal41
5How to Tell When You've Grown Up55
6The Fourth Maxim57
7Touch the Earth61
8The Qualities of Creativity65
Pt. 3The Release of Human Possibilities
9Commitment and Meaning75
10Motivation and the Triumphant Expression of Talent85
11The Full Expression of Human Excellence93
12Our Moral and Spiritual Lineage103
Pt. 4Leading and Managing
13The Nature of Leadership113
14The Tasks of Leadership127
15The Heart of Leadership143
Pt. 5Renewing Our Society
16The American Experiment159
17Building Community175
18Leading Community195
19The Independent Sector205
20The American Dream213
21Freedom and Obligation, Liberty and Duty229

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