11-30-10 - Barber

11-30-10 - Barber - 11/24/10 Gov 1540: The American...

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11/24/10 Gov 1540: The American Presidency Barber: The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House November 30: Presidential Style and Character James David Barber, "Answering the Critics," in The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House , 3rd ed. (Prentice-Hall, 1985), pp. 521-528. Summary This article is a response to the critics of his book The Presidential Character , whose goal is to analyze the presidents’ characters to improve our chances of choosing the best candidates. He goes through 10 critiques of his theory and explains why each is not valid. 1. Bias. My theory is biased by untrue or selective facts a. Response: There are no examples of this supposed bias, and to argue that my theory is wrong, you must test alternative theories against the facts. 2. Personalism. The book puts too much emphasis on the psychology of an individual. a. Response: A lot – but not all – of the institution of the Presidency can be explained by the psychology of the president. The presidency is a highly personalized office. But the book also includes accounts of the “power situation” and the “climate of expectations” along with a discussion about the president’s
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11-30-10 - Barber - 11/24/10 Gov 1540: The American...

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