From Lincoln To LBJ, Doris Kearns Goodwin Examines What It Means To Lead

Here & Now's Robin Young visited the author and historian at her home to talk about her book "Leadership: In Turbulent Times," and her husband, speechwriter Richard Goodwin, who died earlier this year.
In this Oct. 7, 2013, file photo, author Doris Kearns Goodwin poses for a portrait at her home in Concord, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)

In her new book “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin examines that quality in Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young visited Goodwin (@DorisKGoodwin) at her home to talk about the book and her husband, speechwriter Richard Goodwin, who died earlier this year.

  • Scroll down to read an excerpt from “Leadership”

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Book Excerpt: ‘Leadership’

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson—the lives and times of these four men have occupied me for half a century. I have awakened with them in the morning and thought about them when I went to bed at night. By immersing myself in manuscript collections, personal diaries, letters, oral histories, memoirs, newspaper archives, and periodicals, I searched for illuminating details that, taken together, would provide an intimate understanding of these men, their families, their friends, their colleagues, and the worlds in which they lived.

After writing four extensive books devoted to these men, I thought I knew them well before I embarked on this present study of leadership nearly five years ago. But as I observed them through the exclusive lens of leadership, I felt as if I were meeting them anew. There was much to learn as the elusive theme of leadership assumed center stage. As I turned to works of

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