Personality: The President's Analyst

"Prediction is a useful thing for us social scientists," says James Barber, a political science professor at Yale. "It forces us away from the comforts of retrospection." Last week, in a paper delivered at the American Political Science Association meeting in Manhattan, Barber, 39, made a prediction of his own: under certain sets of circumstances "The danger is that Richard Nixon will commit himself irrevocably to some disastrous course of action."

Nixon's problem, Barber says, is a failure to communicate; it stems from "a very strong drive for personal power—especially independent power—which pushes him away from reliance on any...

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