We have a preponderance of books on leadership in business; yet, despite broad dissatisfaction with our political leaders, almost none on how to be a good statesman. John A. Burtka IV, President and CEO of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, discusses lessons on political leadership from thinkers and leaders throughout history, from Xenophon and Aristotle to Machiavelli, Washington and everyone in between. Along the way, he delves into the differences between the theory and practice of statesmanship, the distinctions between Western and Eastern political advice, whether Christianity makes one a better leader, and why the “Mirrors for Princes” tradition can be helpful for students and leaders in modern democracies.

John A. Burtka IV is the President and CEO of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a non-profit founded in 1953 by William F. Buckley and Frank Chodorov focused on introducing undergraduates to the American tradition of liberty. He earned his BA at Hillsdale College and graduate degree in theology from La Faculté Jean Calvin in Aix-en-Provence, France. His writing has been widely featured in publications including The American Conservative, the Washington PostFirst ThingsThe Dispatch, and the Intercollegiate Review. He recently published an edited collection, Gateway to Statesmanship: Selections from Xenophon to Churchill, which contains excerpts of great thinkers from the ancient, medieval, renaissance, and modern eras designed to teach students about the history of statesmanship.

Annika Nordquist is the Communications Coordinator of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and host of the Program’s podcast, Madison’s Notes.

Subscribe to Madison's Notes in Apple Podcasts (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in Apple Podcasts or by RSS feed.