Book review: ‘Leadership in Turbulent Times’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

“Leadership in Turbulent Times” presents four American Presidents as they dealt with the trials of their time: What made them leaders? How did they apply leadership?

“Abraham Lincoln entered the presidency at the gravest moment in American history. His temperament and absolute determination helped win the war, save the Union, and end slavery”

“Theodore Roosevelt guided his countrymen through a long battle designed to restore fairness to America’s social and economic life in the wake of the industrial revolution.”

“Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a sustained, reanimating energy to a nation suffering from the Great Depression and losing faith in democracy.”

“Lyndon B. Johnson gained office in a moment of national tragedy. HIs legislative mastery galvanized a domestic agenda that achieved more for civil rights than any leader since Lincoln.”

Goodwin’s first section deals with ambition and recognition of leadership qualities. She takes us through the early life of each president.

As Lincoln contemplated leadership, he was concerned that in trying times, men of “towering egos,” whose ambition was divorced from the people’s best interests, would try to sabotage democracy for their own ends.

Theodore Roosevelt determined that there were two types of leadership. One came from the person who had been born with the ability that no one else had — the genius. The second type was the person who developed ordinary qualities to an extraordinary degree through hard work.

Goodwin credited Franklin Roosevelt’s leadership success to his temperament. Life’s circumstances in his privileged upbringing taught him to always display a positive front regardless of what was happening; don’t worry the parents, and present everything in the best light.

Lyndon Johnson got his taste for leadership from watching his father, a successful politician in his own right. “The way you get ahead in the world, you get close to those who are the head of things …” It was philosophy that served Johnson well, as did his effort to know who those people were.

Goodwin believes that the way one responds to adversity is one of the determiners of leadership. For Lincoln, the example given is a legislative failure in the Illinois legislature that caused him to break a promise to his constituents. For Theodore Roosevelt, it was the loss of his mother and his wife within 12 hours of one another. Franklin Roosevelt contracted polio and had to deal with the result for the rest of his life. Johnson suffered an election defeat early in his career that made him question his very worth. In all cases, self-examination and personal strength eventually won the day, and when opportunity presented itself, they took advantage of it.

The final section deals with leadership as it was applied in the situations described above. “Leadership in Turbulent Times” presents a fascinating picture of these men, their times and of the many faces of leadership.

Comments are closed.

  • Kendall Lions’ Fundfest set for Saturday

    March 21st, 2019
    by

    The Kendall Lions Club’s major fundraising event for the year is its annual Fundfest. Saturday, March 23, is the date for this year’s event and will feature a live auction, lots of silent-auction baskets, raffles, food and beverages.


    Brookwood cooking demo set for Monday, March 25

    March 21st, 2019
    by

    Viterbo dietetic students Brittani Williams and NatalieSchmit will host a cooking demonstration from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, in the Brookwood High School cafeteria.


    Headricks enter not-guilty pleas

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    Travis and Amy Headrick entered pleas of not guilty in Monroe County Circuit Court on Wednesday to nine counts, including three counts of second-degree recklessly endangering a child, three counts of neglecting a child and causing emotional damage, and two counts of false imprisonment and child abuse with the intention to cause harm.


    Rural Kendall man apprehended on marijuana, paraphernalia charges

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    A rural Kendall man was arrested Tuesday in the town of Union after police found him in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.


    Police identify skeletal remains found in Clifton

    March 19th, 2019
    by

    The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced last week that it had identified skeletal found Nov. 23, 2018, in the town of Clifton, near County Highway W.


  • Repair schedule announced for state trails

    March 16th, 2019
    by

    Superintendent Andrew Haffele of the Wildcat Mountain Work Unit recently released repair schedules for the Elroy-Sparta State Trail and the “400” State Trail.


    Book review: ‘Beautiful Mystery’ by Louise Penny

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    When the music director of a remote monastery is found murdered, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Quebec Provincial Police is immediately called upon to solve the murder.


    KVR to host ‘Wisconsin’s First Peoples’

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    Kickapoo Valley Reserve will offer “Wisconsin’s First Peoples” on Wednesday, March 27.


    Fastrips no longer selling newspapers

    March 14th, 2019
    by

    The County Line still will be available from the following vendors. The County Line still will be available from the following vendors.


    National Weather Service: Ontario under flood warning

    March 13th, 2019
    by

    The following is from the National Weather Service:   The National Weather Service in La Crosse has issued a flood […]


    Monroe County WIC to issue benefits

    March 7th, 2019
    by

    The Monroe County Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will issue benefits and offer nutrition-education days in March.


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Archives