Praise for Power

“I follow human beings whose central goal in life is to seek and gain great power—the presidency or one of the other top posts in government. Until I read Dennis Toombs’s revealing and comprehensive exploration of power, I thought my subjects were unusual. It turns out, Toombs argues, that we are all power-hungry, we are just not as skilled at grabbing control as alpha males and females are. It isn’t all dog-eat-dog, thank goodness. Toombs also shows how we can use power ethically and for just purposes. You’ll enjoy this stimulating, thought-provoking volume.”

—Larry J. Sabato, Director, Center for Politics, University of Virginia

“This book is both wide and deep in its coverage of the concept of power. Professor Toombs explores the topic holistically, with an eye toward explaining it capably and carefully to a general audience. To examine some of the most fundamental and enduring questions of human behavior, Power draws on philosophical thinking and theoretical constructs that stretch back generations. Furthermore, Toombs provides abundant examples of how this wisdom applies to ordinary situations and individuals. This book offers an impressive treatment of power that will serve as a useful addition to the collection of volumes on this topic, with portable insights for the readers.”

—Sunil Ahuja, PhD, Vice President, Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change, and Research at the Higher Learning Commission

“Over the years I’ve read numerous books on power, including the classics. Yet few have opened my eyes more clearly to what power is, and few, if any, have provided a clearer vision of how power should be used. Dennis Toombs’s Power is a must-read.”

—Thomas E. Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard University

“Power is an incredibly insightful yet highly readable look at a fundamental building block of human nature and our relationships with others. The author analyzes and then links our understanding of everyday behavior to what the world’s great thinkers have to say about power. Experiences from rural villages in India to the thoughts of classic Greek philosophers and the American founding fathers, and beyond, are woven together in a narrative loaded with commonplace examples. The book provides a useful addition to widen and deepen our understanding of both ourselves and the world around us. Everyone will profit from reading this book.”

—Robert Dewhirst, PhD, professor of political science, Northwest Missouri State University

“In this concise book, Professor Toombs focuses on the subject of power—how it is acquired and how it is used in the world by both individuals and institutions today. Power is a synthesis of many fields of inquiry—psychology, philosophy, political science, history, and religion, to name a few. To examine power relationships, Toombs manages to extract the keenest insights from these varied fields, and he accomplishes this in a very easy-to-read fashion and without being condescending to his readers. Colorful examples, the frequent use of humor, and the judicious selection of factual information make this a highly pleasant and insightful read.”

—Dr. Robert Carp, political science professor, University of Houston

“Power presents insights into the journey of power from prehistoric times to the present. It explains how power has been used and for what purposes in all major areas of human endeavor. Despite the trend toward concentration of power, Toombs remains optimistic that it will ultimately be used for the greater good. General readers will appreciate the opportunity to expand their understanding of power and its applicability in their own lives, while college students in a wide range of behavioral and social sciences will learn principles that will serve them well in both their education and careers. Because of Toombs’s lucid, perhaps even conversational, writing style, readers in most age groups will be able to benefit from this useful tool.”

—James Hall, former history professor and dean of the Evening and Weekend College at San Jacinto College, North

About the Book

“Human beings have not changed since prehistoric time. We have been involved in a continuous struggle for power over what there is to get, not only for material goods and services but also for respect, values, and control. This one lens—a struggle for power—explains all of human behavior, inside and outside of government. Its strength lies in its all-encompassing explanation, lengthy time span, and universality.”

Excerpt from Power, Chapter 1

In Power: Why We Want It and What to Do With It, author Dennis Toombs examines the subtle dynamics of power in interpersonal relationships as well as its overarching influence in large institutions such as governments, nations, and the financial centers of our global economy. Through this single conceptual lens, he demonstrates how abundant and diverse our power sources are, how to find and develop them to unleash our hidden potential, and how to help others accomplish the same.

The Power Lens

Explaining Behavior as a Struggle for Power

What is our single greatest source of power?

February 24, 2019

For believers, our single greatest cource of power is God since he/she is all-knowing, ever-present, omnipotent and can give us the ultimate carrot, immortality.

About the Author

Dennis Toombs, Ph.D., is an accomplished professor who spent more than four decades teaching political science at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas. Dennis grew up in a multicultural border town, Brownsville, Texas, studied native languages in Mexico, Germany and France, and spent two years in the Peace Corps in West Bengal, India. Extensive travels throughout the world since the 1960s have given him a unique perspective on globalization and the socioeconomic realities of contemporary life. Now retired, Dennis brings his expertise and a non-ideological outlook to his study of power and its impact on human beings since prehistoric timeā€”on an individual, group, organizational and institutional level throughout the world.

Connect

If you'd like to ask Dennis a question or share your own insights about Power, you can contact him using the form below.  You can also sign up to receive occasional emailed updates to Dennis' personal blogs "The Power Lens" and "Spread A Story" by checking the appropriate box.