Leadership and Calvinism, Arie van Deursen Te Velde's comparative study of five Dutch Prime Ministers attempts to examine how leadership changes with the passage of time. It would appear that each one's inimitable style reflected the demands of the particular era in which he lived. This was especially true of Thorbecke. He found his own comfortable niche in a time when politics was the monopoly of a small, elite group of prominent individuals. There are certain rules that govern political leadership, which functions for as long as the circumstances of the time allow these rules to be followed. However, the book does not reveal the nature of these rules in the period between Thorbecke and Kuyper. One also wonders whether Colijn's perception of the task that lay ahead of him did not have more to do with the political faction to which he belonged than with the time in which he lived. Te Velde's use of the term 'Calvinistic' to describe a petty, bourgeois way of life is also extremely questionable.
This review is part of the discussion forum 'Stijlen van leiderschap' (H. te Velde).