The Character Factor: How We Judge America's Presidents / Edition 1

The Character Factor: How We Judge America's Presidents / Edition 1

by James P. Pfiffner
     
 

ISBN-10: 1585443166

ISBN-13: 9781585443161

Pub. Date: 12/28/2003

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press


WATERGATE. MONICA LEWINSKY. PAINKILLERS IN THE OVAL OFFICE. IRAN-CONTRA. READ MY LIPS. THE CHARACTER FACTOR.

The American president’s character matters. To most Americans, it matters deeply. But how do we define what character means, and why can’t we agree?

In this sober, probing consideration of “the character factor” and the

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Overview


WATERGATE. MONICA LEWINSKY. PAINKILLERS IN THE OVAL OFFICE. IRAN-CONTRA. READ MY LIPS. THE CHARACTER FACTOR.

The American president’s character matters. To most Americans, it matters deeply. But how do we define what character means, and why can’t we agree?

In this sober, probing consideration of “the character factor” and the presidency, veteran political analyst James P. Pfiffner leads us through a survey of three aspects of presidential character that have proved problematic for recent chief executives: lies, promise-keeping, and sexual probity. His goal is not to tell us which presidents have been “good” and which “bad.” Rather, he helps us think critically and impartially about complex character issues and invites us to reach our own conclusions.

The Character Factor avoids both the abyss of moral relativism and the desert of political cynicism. It helps us look at our presidents (and our presidential candidates) without illusions, knowing that flawed men can still be great leaders but that some flaws deserve defeat at the polls—or even the ultimate presidential sanction, impeachment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585443161
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2003
Series:
Joseph V. Hughes Jr. and Holly O. Hughes Series on the Presidency and Leadership, #18
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1Judging Presidential Character3
2The Nature of Presidential Lies18
3Serious Presidential Lies39
4Sexual Probity and Presidential Character64
5Character, Consistency, and Campaign Promises91
6Three Presidents in Crisis119
7Character Complexity140
Notes171
Sources for Epigraphs201
Index205
Series Page210

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