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William Deresiewicz

William Deresiewicz is an essayist and critic, a frequent college speaker, and the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life and A Jane Austen Education. He taught English at Yale and Columbia before becoming a full-time writer in 2008. Bill’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The NationThe New Republic, The American Scholar, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere. He has won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, the Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, and a Sydney Award; he is also a three-time National Magazine Award nominee. He is working on a book about how artists are making a living in the new economy.


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If you want to lead others, learn to be alone with your thoughts. A penetrating contemplation of what great leadership requires: a steady independence of mind that only comes with solitude.