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Leadership: In Turbulent Times

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  9,778 ratings  ·  1,429 reviews
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 re
Hardcover, First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition September 2018, 473 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Simon & Schuster
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Shayda The sentence on xiii is "Scholars who have studied the development of leaders have situated resilience[...]at the heart of potential leadership growth…moreThe sentence on xiii is "Scholars who have studied the development of leaders have situated resilience[...]at the heart of potential leadership growth." In other words, resilience is the key trait to look for in potential leaders.

The Notes section lacks a source for this sentence, but for page 97, Goodwin cites this article: She might also have in mind some of the recent popular works on resilience as the key to success more broadly, such as or

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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
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
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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 gr ...more
Kobe Bryant
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: big-ideas
I loved TEAM OF RIVALS, and LEADERSHIP really built on the things I had taken away from that book. Moving from basketball to building a company, I needed to learn new and different leadership skills and Goodwin outlines the different skill-sets of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson, accessibly.
Judith E
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As a product of the U.S. educational system I have been thoroughly schooled in the decisions Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson have made, but I am not as familiar with how these acts were accomplished and implemented.

Doris K. Goodwin has done an impressive job dissecting their behaviors and illustrating how these men became great leaders. They all had some similar characteristics. All 4 learned to control their arrogance and tempers as young men, they all bui
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
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
Michael Finocchiaro
Goodwin's book is a concise study of the leadership skills of four presidents for whom she had previously written prize-winning biographies: Abraham Lincoln (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt (The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism), Franklin D Roosevelt (No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II), and Lyndon B Johnson (Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream). This ...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
Deacon Tom F
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Book about Great Presidents,

I thoroughly enjoyed "Leadership in Turbulent Times" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It looked with a microscope at the leadership styles of Présidents T. Roosevelt, F Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Abraham Lincoln.

The book was written so we'll, I found myself slipping into the minds of these great men and asking myself what I would do in these rough situations. In spite of the different timeframes and the particular personalities, Goodwin finds similarities with each.
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,
Cara Putman
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a well done audiobook. I loved this unique look at four presidents and their leadership in trying times. The first chapter on each is on their early years. The second is on their rise to the presidency. The final chapter on each is lessons on their leadership in a particular crisis. I’ll be using this in my undergraduate leadership class.
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
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: presidential history enthusiasts
Shelves: politics, presidents
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. H ...more
Helga Cohen
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In Leadership, Goodwin explores leadership qualities from four presidents she has studied most closely. Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Theodore Roosevelt during the coal strike, Franklin Roosevelt during his first 100 days, and Lyndon Johnson in civil rights. She explores how they recognize leadership qualities within themselves and how they were recognized as leaders by others. We see how they entered public life and how they were filled with confusion, adversity, confusion and hope.
Jenna D.
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”.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to
Another masterpiece from Doris Kearns Goodwin. This should be required reading for anyone thinking of entering politics or who aspires to a leadership position. It makes me want to read more on all four Presidents (Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ), and that's the sign of a great book. It's also a great primer if you've never delved into Presidential biographies before. A great, great read. ...more
Alan Tomkins-Raney
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goodwin, a gifted writer and esteemed historian, structured this book as a series of case studies in presidential leadership. Her subjects for our consideration are Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. The book is divided into three sections. The first two sections read more like standard mini-biographies as they discuss first, each man's ambition and recognition of his own leadership potential, and second, periods of adversity and growth that profo ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018, history
Doris Kearns Goodwin profiles four past presidents who endured tumultuous times during their administrations. Abraham Lincoln had to work through warring factions in the US to see the Emancipation Proclamation become law. Teddy Roosevelt had to deal with a miners strike. FDR took over the country during the depression, seeing multiple programs and projects instituted for his New Deal to come to fruition to stabilize the country's economy. Lyndon Baines Johnson took over as president when the nat ...more
Robert Booth
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! One of the best books that I have read in a long time.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book by Doris Kearns Goodwin that I've read, and I really enjoyed it. Although it covers the lives of four key US presidents: Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, F.D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson, the author does a pretty good job of limiting the content to the subject at hand: their leadership skills.

Goodwin divides the four presidential stories as follows: a first chapter each on the early years and how they became involved in politics, a second on each one's rise to the presidency thr
Dan Byrden
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In her book Leadership: In Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin profiles four past presidents (Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson) examining their leadership skills during turbulent times. The book is divided into three sections, with a chapter in each section dedicated to each of the four presidents. The first section introduces and discusses each mans ambition and how his leadership was recognised at an early age. The second section discusses the advers ...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
Dawn Michelle
I do not recommend power reading this book like I just did [I got how the chapters were set up wrong and so I had A LOT more book than I realized to listen to and would have started MUCH earlier if I had been better prepared since I am seeing the author tomorrow at an author event and my brain is now mush]. I recommend taking each chapter a day at a time and reading/listening to this nice and slow. Because, like all Doris Kearns Goodwin, there is A LOT OF INFORMATION. A. LOT. I mean, I just read ...more
John of Canada
It,s appropriate that Goodwin spent so much of this discussing the story telling methods of Lincoln and TR.The research in this book was exemplary,but what really made this such a good book to me was that I felt as if I was sitting in a room with her listening to her tell stories about these four great men.I am interested in history,even more so as it is told by fabulous writers like Doris.I also learned a lot of new words!
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
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,
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a great writer and storyteller. This was my first book by her and I really enjoyed it. The book isn’t likely new material for those that have read her previous large books, but I like how she extracted the specific stories of these four presidents and identified their great leadership capabilities. Her personal experiences with Lyndon Johnson had me hooked despite being short. I’m sure she had more to tell but that would have digressed from the message of the book.

I look
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The Life of a Boo...: "Leadership: In Turbulent Times" 6 13 Nov 12, 2020 11:59AM  
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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 earn ...more

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“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.” 7 likes
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