As sometimes happens in those families, however, the energy and ambition seemed to have been concentrated disproportionately in one child, David, perhaps at the expense of the others.His mother, Carol, a big-boned woman with metallic blond hair, was the family organizer, an active committee member in local Republican politics, and the one who made David work for A's in school.

In 1980, David Stockman was selected to be the budget director for the incoming Reagan Administration.

Soon afterwards, William Greider approached Stockman and asked if he could write about his experiences in the budget office. When the article appeared in The Atlantic, it created a firestorm of controversy.

The farm has changed since Stockman's boyhood; it is more specialized.

The bright-red outbuildings behind the house include a wooden barn where livestock was once kept, a chicken coop also no longer in use, a garage, and a large metal-sided building, where the heavy equipment— in particular, a mechanical grape picker— is stored.

His parents and his brothers and in-laws did not seem overly impressed by the prospect that the eldest son would soon occupy one of the most powerful positions of government.

Opening presents in the cluttered living room, watching the holiday football games on television, the Stockmans seemed a friendly, restrained, classic Protestant farm family of the Middle West, conservative and striving.In the corridors of the Capitol, where all ambitious staff aides scurried about in serious blue suits, Representative Stockman wore the same uniform, and was frequently mistaken for one of them.Inside the farmhouse, the family greetings were casual and restrained.With feeling, he described a youthful world of hard work, variety, and manageable challenges."It's something that's disappearing now, the working family farm," Stockman observed.They seemed out of place, alone, amidst the snow-covered fields at an intersection next to the Stockman farm.