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Leadership: In Turbulent Times

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  327 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews

“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 s
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
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”.
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,
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
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.

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
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
Barbara Switzer
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The writing is clear and flows smoothly. I especially liked the first two segments that detail the beginnings of motivation and overcoming struggles. I found that the last sections about Lyndon Johnson tended to idealize him and skip over some of the realities such as his ending as a very wealthy man even though starting in poverty. Many of our politicians today have also lined their own pockets while "serving their country".
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read every book that Doris Kearns Goodwin has written. She is one of my favorites. So, I was excited when I heard this book would soon be published. Because she has written about all of these men before, I worried that it might just be the reworking of past material, but I was wrong. It was fantastic. Each case study sucked me in, and often, brought me to tears. Once again, DKG has hit a homerun!
Matthew Trevithick
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars - enjoyable read about how these four incredible leaders did what they did, and what motivated them. Much was learned, much was underlined.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of "Leadership: In Turbulent Times" on Goodreads First Reads. This book gives me hope that their are great leaders out there and that this time in our history will pass.
I am grateful to the publisher (Simon & Schuster) and the author (Doris Kearns Goodwin, DKG) for the advanced reader’s copy (ARC) which I received via Goodreads Giveaways.
I was particularly excited to receive this book, as it was already at the top of my to-buy list. This certainly did not disappoint.
DKG is a national treasure; I often think of her as our nation’s Historian Emeritus. Her research is incredibly thorough and well-documented. Toward that end, the length of the book intimidated
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Doris Kearns Goodwin has produced a fluently written, interesting character study by analyzing the leadership qualities of four U.S. presidents — Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. It is also a study in the life changing factors that helped develop those leadership abilities.

Goodwin’s talent is to assemble well known historical facts in a way not organized before. At points in her narrative, the reader may feel that this is a clever repackaging of what i
Gary Moreau
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a great historian and a terrific writer. As in her biographies, this one is well researched, logically organized, and converted into splendid prose. It is undoubtedly true that a few of the quotes appear both here and in the individual biographies, but they are used in a very different context. I don’t accept, therefore, the charge of redundancy.

Biography is not a prescription for leadership, however, no matter whose life is chronicled. In this book Goodwin has clearly st
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pulitzer Prize winner and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin penned another historical gem. And this time it includes lessons on leadership befitting a series of Harvard Business Review articles.

In Leadership: In Turbulent Times, Goodwin floats back and forth recounting the histories and leadership of Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin focuses on one critical event faced by each president. These events are Lincoln’s issu
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most compelling nonfiction books I have read in a long time. Ms. Goodwin examines the lives of four American Presidents - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Specifically, she looks at the characteristics of each of these men that made them leaders. The age-old question - were these men a product of the times in which they lived or did they alter the times in which they lived through their particular leadership abilities - is not defini ...more
Cary Giese
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With Doris Kearns Goodwin you never have to worry about the writing or the research. It’s excellent!

Her book details the extraordinary ambition, vigor and work ethic of the four consequential Presidents; Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson! Men that she knew well as she had previously written their biographies.

Each of them grew up wanting to do something history would remember, but each had very difficult obstacles to overcome. This book is the story of
Lucas Brandl
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read Team of Rivals, I had no doubt that this book would be well written. My only question going in was whether it would be a truly inspired effort by Doris Kearns Goodwin or simply an attempt to cash in on her previous research on these four Presidents, combining her previous books into a more condensed "greatest hits" type of work.

If you've read all of her other books, I'm not sure you'll learn much that is new from this book. (I'm only basing this off of having read Team of Rivals). A
Robert Melnyk
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on leadership, focusing on four U.S. Presidents, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ. Very interesting insights into all four of these men, what made them tick, how they developed their leadership qualities, and how they actually led in turbulent times. One aspect of this book that bothered me was Goodwin's portrayal of LBJ and his fight to pass civil rights legislation. Although, LBJ does deserve credit for this, the impression Goodwin gives is that LBJ and the Democrats had t ...more
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Leadership 1 1 Oct 12, 2018 05:46AM  
Presidential Biog...: Goodreads Giveaway 2 13 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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