Leadership: Book summary and reviews of Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Leadership

In Turbulent Times

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin X
Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Book Summary

In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration of the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership.

Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights) - to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope.

Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.

No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon hardships. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today's polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In intimate, knowing ways, Goodwin crafts history as aspiration - or at least inspiration - for readers; let's hope a hefty portion of those readers have titles that begin with Sen. or Rep." - Kirkus

"Goodwin further burnishes her credentials as a popular historian...the tone is inspirational, setting forth examples of how to do leadership right." - Publishers Weekly

"Pulitzer- and Carnegie Medal-winning historian Goodwin draws on 50 years of scholarship in this strong and resonant addition to the literature of the presidency." - Booklist

"Riveting, uplifting, and incisive, Leadership is a culminating work of a true intellectual artist." - Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, co-author Built to Last

"Business students invariably ask me: 'With what historical figure would you like to have lunch?' Doris Kearns Goodwin has prepared a marvelous banquet with four leaders whose lives provide lessons for all of us. Pull up a chair." - Warren Buffett

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Author Information

Doris Kearns Goodwin Author Biography

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, Richard N. Goodwin.

Link to Doris Kearns Goodwin's Website

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