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 beingoften diametrically opposed to the self-imageand 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.