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Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Exclusively available through WSB

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Offering context for our turbulent times and showing how today’s leaders can learn from the past.

Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author

Expertise In:

  • Leadership
  • American Politics
  • U.S. Current Events
  • Media and Journalism
  • Patriotism

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Corporations
  • Lecture Series
  • Women's Events

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Goodwin is the author of seven critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, Leadership in Turbulent Times, which incorporates her five decades of scholarship studying Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.

Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently in documentaries and on television news and cable networks and late-night talk shows. In 2020, she serves as the executive producer for History Channel’s six-hour, three-night miniseries event, “Washington,” which delves into the lesser-known details of America’s first president and shows the arc of his development as a leader.

Goodwin’s interest in presidential leadership was inspired by her experience as a 24-year-old White House Fellow, working directly for President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisting him in the preparation of his memoirs.

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency. Goodwin lives in Boston. She was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room in 1979, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.

Featured Videos

Doris Kearns Goodwin's Speech Topics

Election 2020: Where Do We Go From Here?

America’s “historian-in-chief” Doris Kearns Goodwin delves deeply into our 200-year history of presidential elections that brings us to 2020: A most divisive, overwhelming and exhausting presidential campaign cycle, punctuated by relentless social media and news coverage.  Accompany Goodwin on a virtual trip back to a simpler time—when conventions chose candidates and general election campaigns lasted only three months—to understand the transformation that has produced today’s eternal campaigning, endless fundraising, unproductive debates, polarizing rhetoric and over-reliance on polling. Through rich stories of past primaries, fractured parties, campaign promises and policy outcomes, former candidates and present-day hopefuls, Goodwin examines the path to the presidency and poses the engaging question: Might our election process need an overhaul? Can we instead evaluate our candidates by the standards of a leadership index that would reveal the strength of their teams, their ability to grow, to learn from mistakes and to overcome adversity—qualities that can apply to leaders in every field and all of us in our everyday lives.

Leadership in Turbulent Times

World-renowned presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin reflects on more than 150 years of U.S. history to put into context our most recent unprecedented presidency – a fast-paced, unpredictable and at times impulsive Administration. By sharing her deep understanding of the ambition, resolution and resilience of some of our nation’s most revered presidents, Goodwin explains how past setbacks and triumphs shed light on the cultural, economic and political transformations that define today’s turbulent times. With a goal of educating and entertaining audiences, Goodwin brings to life some of our most successful presidents to provide insight for today’s leaders, and to demonstrate that however fractured our modern political culture has become, our democracy is also resilient and has survived—even thrived—through more troubling times in the past.  

Presidential Leadership Lessons: A Conversation with Doris Kearns Goodwin

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and foremost authority on presidential leadership, draws on her scholarship and experience to bring history to life in a conversational format with politicians, academics, civic leaders, journalists, or your company’s executives. Goodwin’s anecdotes and analysis  provide historical context for our turbulent political atmosphere, illuminating how today’s leaders can learn from the struggles and triumphs of the past’s greatest leaders. Most recently, Goodwin has been in conversation with former President Barack Obama, Salesforce vice chairman, president and COO Keith Block, Hearst executive vice chairman Frank A. Bennack Jr., presidential advisor Karl Rove, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, philanthropist David Rubenstein, author Jon Meacham, and journalists Bill Moyers (PBS), Steve Scully (C-SPAN), and Michal Lev-Ram (Fortune). This event, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each audience, will educate, entertain, and inspire.  

Team of Rivals: The Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln

Based on her longtime best-selling and award-winning book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, esteemed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin presents audiences with essential, object and fresh lessons in leadership, political acumen and management strategy. By deeply examining Lincoln’s leadership style and keen understanding of human behavior, Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln’s political genius by explaining his skillful navigation of the "team of rivals" he constructed to achieve not only political success, but also victory in the Civil War. Underestimated as both an effective orator and leader, this ordinary and extraordinary leader surprised both his colleagues and critics as he rose to political prominence, and today is remembered as one of the greatest presidents of all time. Goodwin, whose Team of Rivals was the basis for Steven Spielberg’s award-winning film Lincoln, also shares stories about her involvement in the hit film that saw Daniel Day-Lewis so convincingly bring Abraham Lincoln to life for millions of moviegoers.  

No Ordinary Time: Three Leaders Who Shaped the American Century: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt

Spanning 100 years of history, bestselling author Doris Kearns Goodwin takes audiences on the ultimate journey through some of the most momentous decades in American history – the industrial revolution, the rise of the robber barons, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. With an uncanny gift for both depth and detail, Goodwin masterfully weaves together a striking number of dramatic and complex story lines drawing from her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II (1995) and her bestselling book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism to provide an intimate, comprehensive and ultimately unforgettable portrait of the era’s three extraordinary leaders – Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt – along with the scintillating cast of characters, who together transformed the country.  

Works by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Doris Kearns Goodwin

No Ordinary Time (opens in a new tab)

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Doris Kearns Goodwin

Team of Rivals (opens in a new tab)