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Leading Like the Swamp Fox (Hardback)

The Leadership Lessons of Francis Marion

Military > Pre-WWI > American History > American Revolution World History > The Americas > USA

By Kevin Dougherty, Steven D. Smith
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 10–20 photographs
ISBN: 9781636241159
Published: 15th July 2022



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Francis Marion is certainly the stuff of which legends are made. His nickname “The Swamp Fox,” bestowed upon him by one of his fiercest enemies, captures his wily approach to battle. The embellishment of his exploits in Parson Weems’ early biography make separation of fact from fiction difficult, but certainly represents the awe, loyalty, and attraction he produced in those around him. His legacy is enshrined in the fact that more places in the United States have been named after him than any other soldier of the American Revolution, with the sole exception of George Washington. Even today’s U.S. Army Rangers include Marion as one of their formative heroes. Surely much about leadership can be learned from such an intriguing personality.


Leading like the Swamp Fox: The Leadership Lessons of Francis Marion unlocks those lessons. Divided into three parts, the book first presents the historical background and context necessary to appreciate Marion’s situation. The main body of the book then examines Marion’s leadership across eight categories, with a number of vignettes demonstrating Marion’s competency. The summary then captures some conclusions about how leadership impacted the American Revolution in the South Carolina

Lowcountry. An appendix provides some information about how the reader might explore those physical reminders of Marion and his exploits that exist today. Readers interested in history or leadership, or both, will all find something for them in Leading like the Swamp Fox.

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About Kevin Dougherty

Kevin Dougherty is the Assistant Commandant for Leadership Programs at The Citadel and the author of several books including The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862–1863 (Casemate 2011), which illustrates leadership principles through historical narrative.

About Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith is a Research Professor at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina. His has published extensively on Francis Marion, the most recent being his book, Francis Marion and the Snow’s Island Community: Myth, History and Archaeology (United Writers Press, 2021). He is also the co-editor of Partisans, Guerillas, and Irregulars: The Historical Archaeology of Asymmetric Warfare (University of Alabama Press, 2019).

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