The New York Times bestselling book about the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin “should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country, and ourselves” (The Washington Post).
“After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians” (USA TODAY). In her “inspiring” (The Christian Science Monitor) Leadership, Doris Kearns 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. 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. Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader?
“If ever our nation needed a short course on presidential leadership, it is now” (The Seattle Times). 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. “Goodwin’s volume deserves much praise—it is insightful, readable, compelling: Her book arrives just in time” (The Boston Globe).
Both this book and it’s delivery in audiobook format are remarkable works. Goodwin exemplifies the highest values and skills of historian and biographer. I saw little evidence of glossing over the unsavory aspects of these Commanders-in-Chief. It is both a solid display of research and editing. Better still is her story-telling. The audiobook is art fully presented by the author and four actors: each of whom read the different sections covering a dedicated President. Above all, I find this work inspirational; it encourages me to be a better human and to strive for the classic virtues of leadership these men exemplified (though not always) at strategic moments in our country’s history. I’m listening to it now a third time. (Note: those who possess a basic understanding of 19th and 20th Centuries US history will be at home with this work. It assumes this of readers and never “talks down” to us.)
There is a tremendous story in this book. The authors ability to pull together the life story of four presidents and the how the impact of events in their lives prepared them to lead and succeed is outstanding. I appreciated this perspective and think it helps explain how life shapes the man who shapes the presidency. An absolute read for any presidential buff.
Incredible, interesting, easy to listen to
This book is one of the best books I have ever read/listened to. The audiobook is especially easy to listen to and interesting, given all 4 presidents’ stories are read by 4 different, yet fitting narrators. A wonderful book on history and how leadership shapes the lives of four of our greatest presidents, and the people of America.