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The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House ePub download

by James David Barber

  • Author: James David Barber
  • ISBN: 020565259X
  • ISBN13: 978-0205652594
  • ePub: 1875 kb | FB2: 1982 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Social Sciences
  • Publisher: Routledge; 4 edition (July 3, 2008)
  • Pages: 544
  • Rating: 4.9/5
  • Votes: 554
  • Format: docx lit rtf lrf
The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House ePub download

James David Barber wrote a prescient book for his time. Dr. James David Barber (July 31, 1930 – September 12, 2004) was a political scientist whose book The Presidential Character made him famous for his classification of presidents through their worldviews

James David Barber wrote a prescient book for his time. Just into the beginning of Richard Nixon's second term, Barber penned a leading theory of presidential behavior. His take: it's driven by the presidential character, developed in the formative periods of each president's life. James David Barber (July 31, 1930 – September 12, 2004) was a political scientist whose book The Presidential Character made him famous for his classification of presidents through their worldviews. From 1977 to 1995 he was a professor of political science at Duke University. Barber was born on July 31, 1930, in Charleston, West Virginia, to a physician and nurse.

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To that end, The Presidential Character, James David Barber’s well-known, provocative examination of who has the potential to be voted into the highest office in the land–and why–is being reissued as the newest addition to the Longman Classics in Political Science series. Arguing that patterns in a person’s character, world view, and political style can allow us to anticipate his or her performance as president, this classic text offers explanations and predictions of the performance of past presidents and presidential candidates.

Dr. James David Barber's well-known, provocative examination of who has the potential to be voted into the highest office in the land and why was reissued just in time for the landmark 2008 presidential election. Arguing that patterns in a person's character, world view, and style can allow us to anticipate their performance as president, The Presidential Character offers explanations and predictions of the performance of presidents and presidential candidates

James David Barber is James B. Duke Professor of Political Science at Duke University in North Carolina. His books include "The Race for the Presidency, The Presidential Character, Citizen Politics, "and "Politics by Humans. Библиографические данные.

James David Barber is James B. The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House.

James David Barber, American Political scientist, retired educator. Presidential Character, The: Predicting Performance in the White House. Samuel S. Fels fellow Yale University, 1957-1960; National Science Foundation fellow, 1961-1963; fellow Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences, 1968-1969; scholar in residence Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy, 1975.

Barber, James David: Book The Presidential Character. Predicting Performance in the White House, by J D Barber revd by B Mazlish. This direction, Barber believes, can be predicted from a study of the President's earlier behav ior. Character itself can be categorized as falling into one of four types: activepositive, activenegative, passiveposi tive and passivenegative. These categories remind one forcibly of Pavlovian psycholo gy.

Presidential Character, The Predicting Performance in the White House.

Dr. James David Barber's well-known, provocative examination of who has the potential to be voted into the highest office in the land and why is being reissued as the newest addition to the Longman Classics in Political Science series.

Arguing that patterns in a person's character, world view, and style can allow us to anticipate their performance as president, The Presidential Character offers explanations and predictions of the performance of presidents and presidential candidates. Drawing on historical, biographical, and psychological research, Dr. Barber hoped to help voters make judicious choices in determining the country's highest leaders. Revisiting this classic work in today's important presidential election season begs a reconsideration of Barber's probing and enduring query, "What should we look for in a President?"

Chinon
A great read. Doesn’t read like a textbook despite its size.
energy breath
Came at a decent time.
Dori
This is an incredibly fascinating book for those interested in the history of the American Presidency and particularly of the occupants of that office. Mr. Barber analyzes the presidents by two main factors: activity (how much effort a particular president put into performing his job) and the president's personality type and world-view (whether a president viewed his role in the world in a positive or negative light). From this Mr. Barber theorizes that there are four major presidential types: active-positive, active-negative, passive-positive, and passive-negative. By analyzing an individual's personality prior to his entry into the White House, Mr. Barber suggests that one can predict his performance while in the presidency. For example, he categorizes FDR, JFK, and Truman as active-positives (high activity while president with each having a positive view of the world), Taft, Harding and Reagan as passive-positives (low effort put into performance of their duties, while trying to show a positive, if timorous, face to the world), and Coolidge and Ike as passive-negatives (each viewing his role in the presidency as a duty to perform rather than something in which to look forward).
The best parts of the book are in which Mr. Barber talks about the active-negative presidents, all of whom have proved disastrous to the office. Each of these presidents had put much effort and personal investment into the performance of his duties, but without any enjoyment. For each of these men, life has always been a struggle and the personal rewards few. Compulsiveness and anxiety was each man's life-script. None of them could ever afford to rest on his laurels after some success, because if he did so, he would only have to re-double his efforts next time for fear of committing failure. None could admit error and saw compromise with his opposition something to avoid at all costs. All became frozen in the rightness of a certain policy line. This was despite all evidence showing that policy had long been proven a failure.
Woodrow Wilson would not compromise with opposition Republican Senators who had certain reservations about the U.S. becoming a member of the League of Nations. The result was that the League treaty was voted down, the U.S. never became a member, and America entered a generation of isolationism. World War II was the final outcome. Herbert Hoover, sticking to his belief in "rugged individualism," would not modify his opposition to the government's stepping in to ameliorate of the effects of the Great Depression. By the time Hoover put forth his Reconstruction Finance Corporation proposal to provide loans to some businesses, the financial and unemployment crisis in the country seemed beyond repair. The voting public was ready to dump the seemingly heartless and "inactive" Hoover (who was really anything but) for the more positive and hopeful FDR. Lyndon Johnson persisted in sending more and more troops into the Vietnam quagmire despite all evidence indicating that his persistent escalation of the war had long been proven wrong. The result was ever-rising death toll of American boys, massive anti-war demonstrations, and devastating urban riots. Then, of course, there was Richard Nixon, who persisted in his lies and deceipt in the coverup of the Watergate Scandal. Not only did he become the first president to resign, but his legacy was a weakened presidency by a casting of mistrust and suspicion on all the future inhabitants of that esteemed office. Mr. Barber said that all of this could have been avoided if the American people had paid closer attention to Nixon's behavior in previous political campaigns and then deciding not to honor him by elevating him to president.
To Mr. Barber's credit, he readily admits that some presidents do not fit easily into one category or the other. For example, while he generally classifies Eisenhower as a passive-negative, Ike showed from time to time some active traits in the presidency. Likewise, while Truman was basically an active-positive, he often peevish personality could have easily lead him into some negative policy trap.
Justie
Barber is a man on a mission, albeit a mission that is of little relevance. He is attempting to devise a system that can be used to predict the performance of American Presidents, as well as, Presidential Candidates. Barber's view would appear to be that political scientists should devise a system that will prevent bad men from being elected President. Thus, America can be saved all the problems associated with poorly performing individuals. (I am almost tempted to question whether this would include Republicans from Barber's perspective, but I will not.) He believes that this can be done looking at the way the grew up and their outlook towards work. The main problem with this is that you cannot predict from a distance what people will do. You can also argue about where each candidate should actually be located on this scheme. Otherwise, a nice bit of political science.
I_LOVE_228
Barber's treatise was seminal and has been quite well-received. It is well-written and interesting. However, the psychology is archaic. Barber postulates two dimensions of presidential personality: Activity and positive vs. negative orientation. This is an arbitrary and very incomplete perspective on personality - which incidentally, has been studied very extensively in psychology over the past 50 years or so. The assessment of a given president's standing on each trait is entirely Barber's, not the result of any formal attempt at measurement or a consensus of experts. In sum, this is an armchair psychological analysis, with virtually no connection to other attempts to understand personality or its relationship to leadership.
olgasmile
This book was the textbook when I took J D Barber's course at Duke. It was unconvincing to me as an undergraduate, even with him in every class cheer-leading for his conclusions in the last chapter we read. It falls into the trap of "Political Science" where authors try to derive simplistic statistical formulas that are predictive of wars and other historical events, or in this case, the way a president will behave. Even as a 19- or 20-year old kid I could see that he wasn't dispassionately applying any kind of scientific analysis, he was just inconsistently rationalizing and wrestling presidents into the little Procrustean beds of his categories. And, rather than being predictive, we discovered that one had to revise character assessments to account for later observed behavior which demonstrated that JD Barber's model was not predictive at all, just another academic hobby horse to ride to tenure.

This was also the class where, during the lead-up to the Falklands war a student explained his theory that Margaret Thatcher would not actually take Britain to war over the islands because she was a woman, and women give life by having children, so therefore she was incapable of taking life and starting a war. Professor Barber did not say, "Shut up, you idiot."

This book is of interest historically because it was considered an influential book at the time, and was always quoted on TV election coverage, probably mostly by people who never read it and never took Barber's class.
Zacki
This is a fascinating book that was recommended to me by John Dean, former white house counsel to Richard Nixon. Barber breaks down presidents into four different categories; Aggressive-Positive, Aggressive-Negative, Passive-Positive & Passive-Negative. He explains which category different presidents fell into and how it affected their presidency. This is a great book to read particularly with a new president coming into office. Unfortunately Barber has passed away but I would have loved to hear what he had to say about W.
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