Charisma in Politics, Religion, and the Media

Charisma in Politics, Religion, and the Media

by David Aberbach


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Charismatics shine in three main arenas: politics, religion, and the media. In his analysis of charisma, David Aberbach adopts an eclectic, comparative approach, which emphasizes its paradoxical nature. Charisma in Politics, Religion, and the Media examines the inner world of the charismatic along with the historical and sociological phenomenon of charisma.
David Aberbach shows that the sources of charismatic motivation are often found in traumatic failure in private life, often as a result of loss, separation or distortion in childhood family relationships. Private trauma makes public life a desirable ideal. The charismatic strives to transend these traumatic origins through the creation of a new being—often diametrically opposed to the self-image—and attempts to find otherwise insoluble resolution of private disability in the public domain. But to what extent is charisma in the public interest?
The book uncovers surprising parallels in the lives of Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, the Indian messiah Jiddu Krishnamurti, the Zionist poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, and Charlie Chaplin, who otherwise appear to have little in common aside from their charismatic appeal. Successfully bridging the disciplines of psychology and the social sciences, Charisma in Politics, Religion, and the Media provides an insightful perspective on a powerful phenomenon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814706473
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 06/11/2012
Pages: 135
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

David Aberbach is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at McGill University and Visiting Academic at the London School of Economics. He is the author of Charisma in Politics, Religion, and the Media, also available from NYU Press.

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