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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
This was required reading in an excellent Political Science course I took on American presidents. It divides presidential characters into four basic types: Active-Negative (Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon); Passive-Negative (Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower), Passive-Positive (Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Ronald Reagan) and Active-Positive (Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman). Theodore Roosevelt as Passive????!!! My word... But then you get the feeling that Barber definitely favors the "Active-Positive"--or maybe it's just the presidents he favors get categorized as such. And that getting labelled as "passive" has less to do with personality, but rather Barber's perception about whether the president seeks to aggressively expand the role of government. Just reviewing the subheadings for his Reagan chapter (this revised edition was published in 1992) makes me twitch. Just the way the scare quotes were used: "Super-siding" the Rich. The Reagan chapter drips with contempt. I have to give credit to my professor--she was more fair. She didn't hide that she was a liberal and a Democrat--but simply in their own terms and goals she counted Reagan as a successful president---and presented to us why--and Carter as a failure. (I remember one dimension was their ability to delegate. Barber by the way passes over the Carter presidency for comment.) So while I do think it's interesting to think of presidents in these categories, I do take a lot of what Barber has to say with a whole barrel of salt.
Review: The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance In The White HouseUser Review - Goodreads
This was assigned reading in the political science class that I was taking at the time of the Watergate Hearings. Although I haven't read it in a long time I do remember it as offering some great ...
Presidential Character and How to Foresee It
The Contradictions of Power
Of Love and Political Duty
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