NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians. Insight is her imprint.”—USA TODAY
“A book like Leadership should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country and ourselves.”—The Washington Post
“We can only hope that a few of Goodwin’s many readers will find in her subjects’ examples a margin of inspiration and a resolve to steer the country to a better place.”—The New York Times Book Review
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin investigates how different presidents have managed crisis, fleshing out profiles of leaders who pushed Americans to work outrageously hard and dream outlandishly big. Using thoughtful case studies, Goodwin shows the value of intimate storytelling (take it from FDR) and true bipartisanship (LBJ knew that), but she also delivers some quick Oval Office tips. Lincoln, for example, vented his anger by writing—then trashing—what he called “hot letters,” while Teddy Roosevelt, who exercised two hours a day, was a big proponent of leisure time. This book will be gobbled up by biography buffs and anyone interested in effective leadership.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Leadership in Turbulent Times
As the proud husband of a School Board Trustee, I am reminded how important our history is. Thank you for another of your many stories of Americans whose greatest achievements were to make the lives of all Americans better.
Respectfully yours, Tom Garvey
she explores timeless leadership qualities and soft skills like empathy, resilience and EQ. perhaps counterintuitively she persuasively argues that vulnerability is the fundamental building block of a strong leader.
Wasted my money
DKG must need some money. This book is just a rehash of her writings and others put in a different format. Good if you know little to nothing of these four presidents. I'm no historian but I recognized these life's and times of these four. Should have written about Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama and what's his name.