Presidential Character by James Barber Research Paper

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He seems to draw easy causal connections between policy and personality that deny the exterior circumstances of history. For example, he suggests that Hoover's rigid personality made him unable to accept changes in classical economic theory during the beginning of the Great Depression, and to adopt a more Keynesian approach. Barber asserts that it was not the conventional wisdom of the time that hampered Hoover as much as his own character, despite the fact that few people really could assuredly state they had the 'answer' to the
...The adaptive-negative aspects of Johnson's personality made that president similarly resistant to the idea of pulling out of Vietnam, and his egoism made him unwilling to be seen as 'losing' the war -- but what about the pressures of the Cold War during that era? Historians also might find some objection to Barber's psychoanalyzing so many major presidential decisions.

On the other hand, questions such as how active the candidate is in terms of managing style and whether or not he or she truly enjoys political life seem like reasonable questions. Barber's stress upon good humor and flexibility do seem to be mirrored in the personality and demeanor of the current president-elect so one can only hope that at least some aspects of his theory are accurate, in terms of his view that a president possessing an active and adaptable mindset bodes well for the nation.

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