It’s been worse: Doris Kearns Goodwin reflects on America’s tumultuous past

Historians in the News
tags: doris kearns goodwin, presidential history, impeachment


Goodwin shared some of her most salient insights during a sold-out talk at Macky Auditorium on Thursday. Her talk (and the name of her newest book), “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” was this year’s marquee event in the fourth annual Leo Hill Leadership Speaker Series. The series is overseen by the Newton Chair in Leadership, a position held by Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano.

She described how she danced with President Johnson, worked for him, and helped him write his memoirs at the end of his life.

“He was a great storyteller,” she reflected. “Many were not true, but they were great. I loved listening to his tall tales.”

Goodwin did not directly discuss the elephant in the room: the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump or the extreme partisanship afflicting the nation, other than to say: “As difficult as the situation is today, we have lived through far more troubled times before.”

Populism was stirred while Teddy Roosevelt was president, and there was a “fear that democracy itself was at risk.”

“Never think you can bet against this country, never believe it’s as fragile as you think,” she said.

Read entire article at CU Boulder Today

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