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Presidents and the Dissolution of the UnionLeadership Style from Polk to Lincoln$
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Fred I. Greenstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151991

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151991.001.0001

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The Rough and Ready Leadership of Zachary Taylor

The Rough and Ready Leadership of Zachary Taylor

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 3 The Rough and Ready Leadership of Zachary Taylor
Source:
Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union
Author(s):

Fred I. Greenstein

Dale Anderson

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151991.003.0003

This chapter assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Zachary Taylor, focusing on six realms: public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Taylor was accomplished career officer who lived up to the nickname “Old Rough and Ready.” By February 1847, he had won a series of battles at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterrey, and Buena Vista. The last victory, in which Taylor's forces won despite being outnumbered three to one, earned the general instant fame. On December 2, 1847, Taylor returned to the United States and began his transition from soldier to would-be politician. After being elected president, it comes as no surprise that Taylor governed the nation in a manner better suited for the battlefield than the White House.

Keywords:   Mexican–American War, American presidents, Zachary Taylor, public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, emotional intelligence

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