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, Lincoln, T.R., Franklin Roosevelt and Johnson, understood the importance of history and the history of our country and what the Founders envisioned and most importantly what America stands for.
All four Presidents had many things in common, but a few things that really stand out is that all of them put country above themselves and formed an intimacy with all the American people, despite class, race, or religion. When Franklin Roosevelt died a reporter noted, “One man has died and 130 million people feel alone.”
Before reading this book I had read a lot about Presidents Lincoln and T.R, some about President Franklin Roosevelt but virtually nothing about President Johnson. The Viet Nam War has so defined his Presidency that it is only after reading this book that I have come away with an appreciation for his legislative accomplishments, which until this day, have not been equaled by any U. S. Administration … From Civil Rights and Health Care … To Voting Rights and Equal Housing. The “Great Society” literally transformed the American Landscape.
Despite whatever previous knowledge I had about the other 3 Presidents, I nevertheless learned a lot more about each, and especially how they approached the most pressing issues and tragedies of all time. “Whatever can be done today, cannot wait until tomorrow.”
I highly recommend this book. Thank you Mrs. Goodwin.