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 Leadership In Turbulent Times is a powerful look at the qualities of leadership exhibited, each in their own way, and as determined by history and the unique crises and challenges faced by four transformational presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson Beloved historian Doris Kearns Goodwin separates her book into three sections Ambition and the Recognition of Leadership Adversity and Growthand The Leader and the Times How They Led. Kearns Goodwin explores the transformational leadership of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation the crisis leadership of Theodore Roosevelt in the wake of the industrial revolution dealing with economic and social issues at the beginning of the twentieth century the turnaround leadership of Franklin Roosevelt as he assumed office in the wake of the depression and collapse of the economy focusing on the corrective measures that were implemented in the first hundred days and the visionary leadership of Lyndon Johnson as he came to the presidency following the assassination of John Kennedy and vowing to establish sweeping civil rights legislation as part of his Great Society In these turbulent and unsettling times, it is comforting to know that this country has not only survived adversity in the past, but has found ways to improve this nation. Doris Kearns Goodwin pairs her superior research skills with an ability to recount history in a comprehensive manner to bring readers this wonderful book on political power in the most difficult situations Patching together some of her past work on four American presidents, Goodwin examines the rise to power of each man, as well as how they were able to overcome significant adversity to right the proverbial apple cart Goodwin chooses to explore the life and times of four men synonymous with great achievements throughout their lives Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt Teddy , Franklin Roosevelt FDR , and Lyndon Johnson LBJ Told using three themes, Goodwin explores a rise to prominence, sustaining of power including ascending to the presidency , and utilisation of that power when times were tough In Goodwin s examination of Lincoln, she tells of a gangly man who was always driven to better himself, even when others could not see his end goal Lincoln loved to learn and questioned the status quo at every turn When he chose to run for office, he was quite verbose in his explanation, but was able to win others over with his oratory skills, rather than simply following the pre ordained path of the party under whose banner he sought to run Winning a place, first in the Illinois Senate and eventually as a congressman, Lincoln sought to expand what was taking place by asking the questions about what else could be done When he won the presidential election of 1860, Lincoln entered the White House in turbulent times Goodwin examines many of the struggles he had, as the country tore itself apart, forcing him to take action This included writing and delivering the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the greatest speeches that Lincoln ever gave Goodwin seeks to argue that the speech itself was not the only struggle, but also Lincoln s trying to pass it and keep his Cabinet together Teddy Roosevelt was always a man who sought to do his own thing His father was a daunting character in his life, but this did not stop Teddy from striving to excel He was a man of many words, but also one who knew how to relate to everyone Goodwin examines how Teddy could rise to any occasion and win over those who might otherwise not give him a second look Playing politics in New York, Roosevelt was able to work within the GOP ranks and earn himself a senior bureaucratic position where he could exemplify his man of the people persona He shied away from little and, given the chance, changed in head first to meet adversity A police commissioner helped him win the favour of New Yorkers, but he was not done there After the assassination of President William McKinley, Roosevelt who had been destined for the doldrums of obscurity when he was the vice president ascended into the White House Unsure what to expect, he was saddled with a coal strike that almost paralyzed the country While others would have let business and labour work out their differences, Teddy waded into those waters and diligently acted to solve the problem for the American people Teddy s fifth cousin, FDR, chose another path for his success Born into significant wealth, Franklin Roosevelt was handed a congressional seat and told to run with it FDR chose to represent the party well, using new and innovative techniques to get his name out to the masses in New York He was a keen worker and would not let anything get in his way When he was struck with polio, he faced what was surely his greatest obstacle, but FDR would not stand down Forced to reinvent himself, with the help of his wife, FDR toppled the hurdles and ascended to the governor s mansion in New York before riding the wave of success during America s darkest days Goodwin examines America s reaction to the Great Depression before introducing FDR s solution in a series of economic and social changes during those first one hundred days in office Now a yardstick by which many presidents are measured, those first few months proved to be FDR s way of staring down the despair and breathing new life into a shaky America The final man under exploration is the irascible Lyndon Johnson, whose rise within Texas politics seemed almost pre ordained However, LBJ came from modest means and had to claw his way up the ladder, serving first as a teacher and principal in a small school From there, he found new and exciting ways to work any crowd around him, earning him points wherever he went As Goodwin explains, LBJ did politics the Texas away, not always by the book, but certainly represented those around him effectively When he won national office, LBJ had to learn the ropes again, but his gumption helped him rise to power, where he served in both congressional houses with distinction, rubbing elbows with some of the big names in politics at the time It was another assassination that saw LBJ assume the presidency, but he wasted no time in getting his agenda in order As Goodwin shows, LBJ s desire to ensure his predecessor s desire to offer tax cuts and deliver civil rights to a significant portion of the underprivileged population LBJ fought tooth and nail, using his experience in Congress, as well as numerous personal relationships to further this causes and ensure that America remained on the course towards success in the latter decades of the 20th century Goodwin shows how the president refused to let congressional or regional walls stymie his ideals to bring equality to a country that was still feeling the effects of its Civil War a century before Goodwin draws obvious parallels between the first and fourth of her study subjects to show how the argument of equality for all had come firm circle, subtly showing that all the bloodshed was, realistically, for naught Still, LBJ would not give up on these domestic issues, even as his international realm fell apart the intense the Vietnam War became In her conclusion, Goodwin takes a final look at these men and how their deaths impacted America Did the population learn from these men and were their legacies impactful Goodwin sums everything up with some of her trademark blunt analysis, while offering the reader some hope as America returns to tumultuous times, even if the man at the helm could never hope to lead effectively A sensational book that gets to the core of power in four men so very different but also so much alike Adversity need not cripple anyone, as long as determination is your guide Highly recommended to those who love political biographies and would love to see great men in action, as America suffers through new turbulent times.I thoroughly enjoy political biographies, particularly when they are well researched and written in such a way that anyone can enjoy them Doris Kearns Goodwin has earn this reputation in her half century of writing and exploring the world of politics through the eyes of a historian While I have read comprehensive biographies of all four men, I left this piece with knowledge and a better understanding of what it takes to steer the massive political ship that is the United States of America away from turbulence and hidden icebergs Goodwin develops this piece, based on some of her past work writing about these men, creating threads that connect them, even as they differed so much Taken a look at their rises to power, Goodwin compares them all in four introductory chapters, before forging ahead to discuss their ascents This political build up, while different in its path, can again be tied together by other threads, which makes up the four middle chapters Then, when each man had been chosen to lead America or moved into the position by assassination , they excelled greatly and used their own political acumen to pave the way to a better and sustainable America Goodwin argues that America was better for the leadership these four men exemplified, even if the history books offers varied judgment The curious reader will take much away from this book, seeing themes between the four presidents that many might have missed before Goodwin s writing is easy to digest and her arguments are sound She is a passionate and powerful storyteller who will not shy away from any challenge As America is back in a time of tumult, with its people divided and politicians fighting than in recent decades, this book is a refreshing look at how to REALLY make America great again Kudos, Madam Goodwin, for dazzling us with your abilities I hope many take the time to see your central arguments and discover how American political history comes to life under your pen.Like hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review All my opinions are my own Short review since head is still on the mend better than yesterday at least The author is the history teacher I would have loved to have in high school aside from one in my school, the others weren t good at keeping me interested She brings history alive and is good at keeping the reader engaged in the subjects she writes about.This one wasn t as good at Team of Rivalsbut was still an interesting read It didn t feel as put together as it could have been though If time travel were possible one day, I would love to go back and meet most of these men and just talk to them, observe them that would be amazing.More than once I found myself thinking Were these men fated born into their times because their souls would be needed and they were the only ones who could to what they did Or did the times make them into the person the country needed Or both Did that make sense Haha, the author puts forth the same question better than me but it does make you wonder hmm Looking at the title, I m probably not the only guessing or wondering at the reason s she wrote it but one can only guess shrugs This one would be good as an introduction to new readers of her work I only have one other of her books to judge by so far, so I can t say if longtime readers would enjoy this one or not. What makes a great leader Are they born or bred These are some of the questions Goodwin asks the reader I really liked how Goodwin organized the material in her study of four great presidents Lincoln, TR, FDR, and LBJ She unpacks important traits of their childhood, how they recovered from their lowest points, and how they succeeded at their biggest moments as presidents.Other scholars remind us that presidential greatness is hard to find, and after reading this, this fact still holds true, but Goodwin s easy writing style and important messages can inspire any one of us to be better at what we do These four presidents all thought about something bigger for the country, held a strong vision of where they wanted to take the country, and asked the people to help It seems many top level politicians don t think in these terms, or if they do, they don t have humility or empathy.One critique is that Goodwin didn t examined the failed moments these presidents had in office with one exception LBJ and Vietnam I think we can learn about leadership from the failures as well as the successes. 3.75 yes, I know it s silly, but it feels right Goodwin is to my mind a national treasure Her earlier books hold pride of place on my shelves This new book, however, simply didn t move me as much I m not sure when she decided to write it I understand that years of research typically go into her books but one can t read Leadership without being reminded again and again of the many shortcomings of our current political leaders Indeed, it might be that the deeply worrisome nature of our times led her to engage in a different kind of project than she otherwise would have undertaken In this book she looks at the four presidents with whom she is most familiar Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ in an effort to distill what leadership qualities enabled them to accomplish as much as they did in such difficult circumstances I found her conclusions somewhat less than convincing, perhaps because the exercise by its very nature allows the researcher to choose whatever traits and circumstances he she likes to highlight, excluding everything else I found myself being reminded of the many secrets of successful leaders books I edited when I was in publishing That said, there is much of interest in Leadership It s worth reading because her subjects are worthy of study, most of the points she makes seem valid if not replicable , and because just about anything such an astute and gifted a researcher as Goodwin writes deserves serious attention I ll be interested to learn what others think of the book. Thank you Goodreads and Doris Kearns Goodwin for my free copy of Leadership In Turbulent Times This is an excellent book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ms Goodwin has the ability to take complicated subject matter and transform it into easy to read and understand text She is a storyteller like Abe Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson, who are two of the past presidents discussed in this book She gives many examples to support her viewpoints as to why these men had such great leadership qualities On a personal note, not one of the qualities that were mentioned in the book, appear to be qualities President Trump possesses, but that is my personal opinion Our current President is not mentioned in the book, yet the sharp contrasts to the current administration cannot be ignored. I came away impressed with all four presidents, but my opinion of Lyndon Johnson was increased the most Probably because I knew the least about him going into the book and I was impressed with him as a leader and person An awesome read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I also learned a few things about presidents, I have read many of their biographies I am a big fan of Goodwin She states she started working on this book in 2013 and it took her five years to research and write I felt that the release of the book at this current time in our presidential affairs was quite pertinent.Goodwin wrote biographies over the years of each of the presidents She chose for this book Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lindon Baines Johnson The book is divided into three thematic areas ambition and recognition of leadership adversity and growth and how they led In the final section Goodwin examines different types of leadership transformational, crisis management, turnaround and visionary.The book is well written and researched I found it interesting that each president struggled with his own variety of emotional problems Goodwin reveals how each president had different leadership abilities I found the three case studies in part three most interesting Goodwin has presented two republican presidents and two democrat presidents The book is unbiased The book is well organized and easy to read Goodwin is a master storyteller that skill brings history to life I highly recommend this book.I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible The book is just over eighteen hours The narration was excellent Goodwin narrated the introduction and epilog Beau Bridges, David Morse, Jay O Sanders and Richard Thomas each narrated a president It was great having different narrators as it allowed distinction between each president. Great book Doris Kearns Goodwin has written a compelling treatise on leadership using four Presidents she has studied intimately as the central characters Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson For each President she describes their formative years and the forces that shaped their personal attributes, illustrates the role that adversity played early in their careers, and how they assumed the mantle as leaders during a critical point during their presidency Her analysis is thought provoking, well researched, and told in a way that really brings out the personalities of each man Goodwin is a masterful writer and story teller, and reading her work keeps you glued to the page I m fascinated by how Presidents, at least the good ones, rise to the occasion and what it is in each of them that makes them the right person for the right time, especially in times of bedrock shaking challenge This book offers a glimpse Really well done, highly recommend.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN s interest in leadership began than half a century ago as a professor at Harvard Her experiences working for LBJ in the White House and later assisting him on his memoirs led to her bestselling Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize winning No Ordinary Time Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt The Home Front in World War II She
- 473 pages
- Leadership in Turbulent Times
- Doris Kearns Goodwin
- 21 August 2017 Doris Kearns Goodwin