Professor Barber, renowned for his study of The Presidential Character (1977), here examines the historical growth of the press, printed and electronic, in shaping presidential campaigns since 1896. His somewhat forced argument is that each campaign has one of three dominant themes-conflict, conscience, or conciliation-and that the themes follow each other with an unvarying pulse. 1980 is to be "conciliation." Not likely. Nevertheless, the book is full of insight, anecdote and wit.