TED: Doris Kearns Goodwin: Learning from past presidents in moments of crisis

Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 11:18 am
Interesting batch of presentation videos on TED this week.

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Learning from past presidents in moments of crisis

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about what we can learn from American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Then she shares a moving memory of her own father, and of their shared love of baseball.

Doris Kearns Goodwin writes insightful books on the US Presidency (JFK, LBJ, FDR and Lincoln, so far), telling each president's personal story against the backdrop of history.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of the great popularizers of presidential history. Her books on Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedys, and the wartime Roosevelts all became best-sellers, thanks to her ability to tell a truly human story around these larger-than-life men and women.

Her latest book, Team of Rivals, follows Abraham Lincoln, a brilliant young country lawyer, as he rises to the US Presidency and draws his former political opponents into his circle of advisors. (The book is the basis for Steven Spielberg's next film.)

Goodwin nurses a parallel fascination for baseball, the subject of her beloved memoir Wait Till Next Year. In 2007, she was a finalist candidate for the presidency of Red Sox Nation.

I particularly enjoyed her story about her father at the end of the presentation and how she learned the art of storytelling.
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 11:50 am
Did Goodwin ever get tenure at Harvard?
Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 11:57 am
I have no idea. I have confidence in your ability to look up the answer to your question, though. Post it here when you find it.
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Reply Tue 21 Oct, 2008 11:59 am
I actually attended a conference where Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke. She is an incredible story teller. She actually told her story about growing up and their love of baseball and about Lyndon Johnson during this speech. It certainly kept me on the edge of my seat. Her speaking, like her writing can be mesmerizing. The one thing I loved about her biographies is she writes them like a story rather than simple spewing of facts.

I haven’t read all " although I would love to read Lincoln and JFK. I did think though recently it was claimed she plagiarized.
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