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An Aura of Greatness

Brendan Burns

Softcover, 294 pp.

“There was an ‘aura of greatness’ about him,” said observers. How did John A. Burns—a man who came from humble origins—develop this distinctive quality and become one of the greatest leaders in Hawaiʻi history? Through a career in law enforcement, and politics that culminated in one of the most revered governorships in Hawaiʻi history, John A. Burns displayed leadership abilities that brought commitment from supporters, commanded respect from adversaries, and led a political revolution at a time when transformational change in

Hawaiʻi was desperately needed. Out of the divisiveness of a

Hawaiʻi riddled by class warfare, racism, and economic division, arose a new Hawaii of greater unity, equality, and opportunity for all spearheaded by Burns’ leadership. His accomplishments are all the more extraordinary given his personal trials and tragedies that would have proven hindrances to others. An Aura of Greatness: A Reflection on Governor John A. Burns explains the core principles that defined Burns throughout his life and career written from a family member’s perspective, and provides revealing insights that will serve today’s leaders well as they strive similarly to develop their own auras of greatness.

“If figuratively many of Hawaii's leaders grew up on John A. Burns's knee, Brendan Burns did so literally. Grandson Brendan is an educator who writes in a warm authentic voice. For our time, he refocuses Grandpa Burns's core message: that all of the striving, all of the conflict, was about the development of Hawaiʻi's people.”

“From the time Burns intersected with history in early 1941 until his passing in 1975, he talked bluntly but eloquently about the central importance of individual and community development and the potential of Hawaiʻi's multiethnic people to inspire the world. We see here that what Burns did with his life mattered; and what we do with ours matters.” - Tom Coffman, Author, Renowned Journalist, and Long Time Chronicler of Hawaiʻi

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