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Leadership: In Turbulent Times

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,224 ratings  ·  270 reviews
In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an 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 mak
Hardcover, 473 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Simon Schuster
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Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This book has mini biographies of four presidents selected by the author as exemplars of leadership abilities: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. There is a chapter for each, under each of three themes: ambition and early recognition of leadership ability; adversity and growth; and how they led during crises in their presidencies. There is also an epilogue that describes the ends of their lives. Aside from Lincoln, I hadn't really thought about that, and ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
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 Rivals but was still an int
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
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 Growth; and The Leader and the Times: How They Led. Kearns Go ...more
Bruce Katz
Aug 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-history
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 ...more
Bryan Craig
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
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,
Donna Wetzel
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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 ...more
Jenna (Bookiemoji)
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brilliant. I learned something about each president in their respective chapters. But became a bit muddled and long-winded when the author spoke by topic in the later half of the book and jumped between each president, sometimes mid-thought. Regardless, this is a very important book that I see doing well upon release. It’s a sad read, too, as it inadvertently highlights those things that are lacking in our current “leadership”.
Joseph Sciuto
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, wonderful book by the brilliant Doris Kearns Goodwin. Over the last couple of decades and especially now, I have asked myself, "Where have you gone George Washington, Abe Lincoln, T.R., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Harry Truman and in a sense "Leadership in Turbulent Times" by Mrs. Goodwin has answered that question. They having gone anywhere, but apparently the leadership in our country has refused to study and emulate these men; whereas the four Presidents in this book, Lin ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Doris Kearns Goodwin breathes life into material that she's mined before. This audio version benefits from the contribution of four well known actors, each representing a president she had researched in depth (i.e., Beau Bridges reads the sections on LBJ). Since that research was so immersive, she came to think of Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, FD Roosevelt and LBJ as "her guys," and what each had in common was the power to lead the country in times of crisis. In her portraits, limning their paths to th ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, history
LEADERSHIP IN TURBULENT TIMES. (2018). Doris Kearns Goodwin. ***1/2.
Ms. Kearns is a former winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her study of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. She has taken the opportunity to select her four favorite presidents – the ones she has studied the most – and attempted to chart the characteristics they had in common that allowed them to reach the pinnacle of success within their careers. The four candidates for her further study included Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt,
Dan Graser
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
With characteristic erudition and thoroughness, Doris Kearns Goodwin achieves an answer to the main questions she was asking with this book:

“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?”

She centers this extensive answer around four different types of leaders who happen to share the distinction of having been elected President: the transformational leadership of Lincoln,
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed listening to this book read by different excellent readers for each president. The author has such a vast knowledge about Lincoln, Johnson, and both Roosevelts which made this an insightful look into presidential leadership.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Summary: A study of how four presidents led the nation during turbulent times, tracing their awakening leadership ambitions, the adversity that formed their character, and lessons from how they led.

What distinguishes great leadership from the ordinary or the mediocre? Are leaders born or made? Are leaders great because of, or in spite of, their times? For answers to these and other questions about leadership, many have studied different U.S. Presidents, individuals with, arguably, the most chall
George P.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The best way to study leadership is to study leaders. How they exercised influence in their contexts provides examples of how we can do so in ours. For this reason, it is paramount for leaders to be well-versed in biography and history, the knowledge of people and their times.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Leadership in Turbulent Times provides case studies of the leadership of four U.S. presidents at critical junctures in their administrations:

1. Abraham Lincoln exemplifies transformational leadership
Chris Witkowski
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book reminds me of a doctoral thesis, with the subject being the analysis of the personal characteristics that make a good leader in trying times. She provides case studies of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. She examines their early lives, pointing out crises they experienced, and posits that their ability to weather those circumstances led to the qualities needed later when, as president, and faced with immense challenges, they were ...more
I like Kearns Goodwin - anyone who can write convincingly on everything from baseball to superb biographies of leaders has to have something going. But this book is not close to one of her best. Its subjects should not have been a surprise - KG has written individual biographies of each of the subjects in her book (Lincoln, TR, FDR and LBJ). The book adds some new anecdotes for each of the leaders considered so there are some morsels.

But I have two problems with the book - her underlying theory
Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Lyndon Johnson all knew from a young age that they wanted to leave their mark on the world, they faced setbacks before becoming President that helped mold them into the leaders that they were. They all faced unique challenges, crises of the nation that they needed to address. Goodwin breaks their lives into segments for easier comparison, going stage by stage.

Why I started this book: Goodwin has been repeatedly recommended to me but this is the first book of her
Barbara Hoff
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodwin so clearly shows that though none of the four presidents she discusses were perfect, they all had leadership qualities that enabled them to be outstanding leaders in specific areas for which they will always be remembered. It really shows just how sadly we are currently lacking in real leadership. Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, and even LBJ really cared about our country and its people. They were always trying to do the right thing. They were all good people. Can the same be said about our ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kearns takes a look at four presidents- Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson and presents what she believes made them great leaders.
The book is broken in to 3 parts; 1. The early years, 2. a pivotal professional moment and 3. a specific time when they each had to display leadership.
Obviously there is a ton of information about all these men but Kearns does a good job of taking this info and shedding light on a particular aspect of their lives and legacy.

Very east to read book highlighting moments in presidential history when selected presidents faced opposition or conflict. This book revolves around the presidents that Ms. Goodwin has already researched, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. I highly recommend this book.
Nov 15, 2018 added it
Shelves: history, presidents
Switching gears from mystery to history. Four presidents from the time they were young men before their political aspirations were full blown.
Lincoln, arguably the greatest President of all. His compassion, even in the most difficult of times was an example to all.
Teddy Roosevelt and his inexhaustible energy. He kept coming back to the political arena, hoping for one more chance to be the commander in chief.
FDR, his indomitable spirit, who brought us through the Great Depression and WWII. De
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Top notch history, made even more interesting because of the comparative story telling and the leadership commentary. Highly recommend the audiobook as the readers are very good.
Randal White
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another outstanding book from my favorite author!
Donald Powell
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I think it is maybe her best yet. She knew all four of these men (Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, F.D.R., and L.B.J.) so well they all came freshly, and meaningfully alive. "By, for and of the people" was a resounding theme in her comparison and dissection of who they were as persons and how they managed the crises confronting their times. The book was an excellent analysis of "Leadership", clearly revealing the concern for the average American and the principles of justice as gu ...more
Brian Willis
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Goodwin takes her 5 decades of research into the presidencies of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ and distills it into a tightly focused examination of the quality of leadership under challenging circumstances.

The book is divided into three sections, where Goodwin gives each President a turn at biographical displays of leadership qualities. It also serves as a brief biography for each leader. Part 1 illuminates how each President developed professionally in their early years and how they c
Michelle Arredondo
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting read.

I have never been the History buff . Not my forte in school either. I wanted to read this book because American History..mainly of the Presidents...was one of the subjects my grandfather enjoyed reading. I wanted to give it a go. I did. I found this book to be quite interesting. It was not too much. It gave it's info and it gave it well. Writing style was to the point. When it got tedious (towards the end) I powered through and I am thankful that I did because I really enjoye
Doris Kearns Goodwin is one of my favorite authors and her newest work, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, does not disappoint. As we live in a time of extreme divisiveness, currently void of presidential leadership, I found this extremely encouraging. Definitely a book that matches the needs of the times.

Having written previously on presidents Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and LBJ, she weaves their stories together under the theme of leadership. There is a lot of back-and-forth, but it fits. If yo
Porter Broyles
When I look at books I consider three principal factors:

1. How well written is it?

This book is very well written. Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and deservedly so. All of her books are very well written.

2. How interesting is the subject?

Lincoln, Teddy, FDR, and Johnson---four of the most important and interesting presidents in American History? Looking at each of those presidents during some of their turbulent years? The subject is very interesting. Johnson seems like an odd duck in
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read and enjoyed Kearns Goodwin's books on FDR, Lincoln, and LBJ I was curious to see how this book would be. This one did not disappoint in most respects.

As with the other 3 books her narrative style of history telling in a relatively direct prose makes for engaging reading. Even when KG provides background and/or context she does it in manner that keeps the storyline moving along at a comfortable, and for the most part, interesting pace.

In this book the author still demonstrates a fine
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NonFiction Pulitzers: Leadership: In Turbulent Times Dec 2018/Jan 2019 Buddy Read 16 18 4 hours, 44 min ago  
Leadership 1 4 Oct 12, 2018 05:46AM  
Presidential Biog...: Goodreads Giveaway 2 16 Aug 24, 2018 10:40AM  
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN’s interest in leadership began more 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 ...more
“With public sentiment, nothing can fail,” Abraham Lincoln said, “without it nothing can succeed.” Such a leader is inseparably linked to the people. Such leadership is a mirror in which the people see their collective reflection.” 1 likes
“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed,” Abigail Adams wrote to her son John Quincy Adams in the midst of the American Revolution, suggesting that “the habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues.” 0 likes
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