EP 319: Doris Kearns Goodwin on Presidential Leadership
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin revisits four of her favorite U.S. Presidents for her new book Leadership: In Turbulent Times. Today she discusses the ideological family tree shared by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, how their character was shaped by their setbacks, and how their destinies were forged in times of crisis. She shares how Abraham Lincoln gave purpose to the Civil War, how Teddy Roosevelt averted a coal strike that would have left millions of Americans in the cold, how Franklin Roosevelt got America through our greatest economic crisis by talking to every American as a trusted friend, and how Lyndon Johnson managed to accomplish what JFK couldn't do with civil rights. She recounts a meeting between a wily President Franklin Roosevelt and a young Congressman Lyndon Johnson, the time Theodore Roosevelt showed up to cheer on his own protesters, and how President LBJ gradually won over a very young and very skeptical Doris Kearns Goodwin.