The Seasons of Politics: Life-Mapping President George W. Bush

By Bruce Allen Murphy.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper will explain a new “life cycle” theory of biographical analysis for the lives of politicians. Understanding that many political figures serve in office at many different points in their lives and for varying periods of time, this theory takes as its launching point that all human beings evolve over time, much like the seasons of nature, and their actions as well as behavior in office change as a result of the links between their private and public lives. Renowned social psychologists Erik Erikson and Daniel Levinson developed this theory of “life cycle” analysis, based on the periods of crisis and stability in a human being’s life, and organized into the seasons of a person’s life. By importing the theories of this psychology field into the fields of biography, government and history, this paper argues that this intellectual approach can be used to explain past behavior in political office as well as to predict future behavior. This paper will use as its case study the evolution of the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Keywords: Biographical Theory, Governmental Analysis, Recent American History

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.61-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 521.005KB).

Dr. Bruce Allen Murphy

Department of Government and Law, Lafayette College, USA

Bruce Allen Murphy is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights in the Department of Government and Law at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.. He teaches American Constitutional Law, Civil Rights and Liberties, American Government, and judicial biographical writing. He has written three nationally-recognized biographies of Supreme Court justices: Wild Bill: the Legend and Life of William O. Douglas (Random House, 2003), Fortas: the Rise and Ruin of a Supreme Court Justice (William Morrow, 1988), and The Brandeis/Frankfurter Connection: the Secret Political Activities of Two Supreme Court Justices (Oxford University Press, 1982). The sixth edition of his introductory American Government textbook, Approaching Democracy, (co-written for Prentice Hall with Professor Larry Berman of the University of California at Davis) will be available in 2008.

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