Cover image for The psychological assessment of political leaders : with profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton
The psychological assessment of political leaders : with profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton
Post, Jerrold M.
Publication Information:
Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiii, 462 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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JC330.3 .P79 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In an age when world affairs are powerfully driven by personality, politics require an understanding of what motivates political leaders such as Hussein, Bush, Blair, and bin Laden. Through exacting case studies and the careful sifting of evidence, Jerrold Post and his team of contributors lay out an effective system of at-a-distance evaluation. Observations from political psychology, psycholinguistics and a range of other disciplines join forces to produce comprehensive political and psychological profiles, and a deeper understanding of the volatile influences of personality on global affairs.

Even in this age of free-flowing global information, capital, and people, sovereign states and boundaries remain the hallmark of the international order -- a fact which is especially clear from the events of September 11th and the War on Terrorism.

Jerrold M. Post, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology, and International Affairs, and Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University. He is the founder of the CIA's Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This book brings together some of the foremost specialists on the psychological assessment and political behavior of world leaders. Edited by Post, a prominent expert on leadership psychology, this volume draws on a variety of disciplines to present an eclectic system of "at-a-distance" evaluation of leaders, which is subsequently applied in two case studies to develop psychological profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton. Reaching back to Freud, Langer, George, Erikson, and others, the authors trace the development of the field of personality assessment and elucidate a plethora of theories, models, and methods including integrated personality study, operational codes, trait analysis, and cognitive analysis. Both in theoretical content and in the profiles of Saddam and Clinton, this is a most insightful compilation of collective wisdom. One hopes that as a next step scholars would test the validity of Western psychological theories in profiling leaders like Saddam who are products of non-Western cultures. Meanwhile, this book is essential reading for government practitioners and academic specialists teaching courses on leadership, political psychology, and foreign policy. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduate collections and above. R. H. Dekmejian University of Southern California