Literary Birthday – 4 January – Doris Kearns Goodwin

Happy Birthday, Doris Kearns Goodwin, born 4 January 1943.


  1. Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.
  2. As much research as you think you’re doing, you’re going to mess up, without a question.
  3. I think confidence comes from doing something well, working at it hard, and you build it up. It’s not something you’re born with. You have to build the confidence as you go along.
  4. As a historian, what I trust is my ability to take a mass of information and tell a story shaped around it.
  5. If you interview five people about the same incident, and you see five different points of view, it makes you know what makes history so complicated. Something doesn’t just occur. It’s not like a scientific event. It’s a human event. So the dimensions of it will be seen differently by different people.
  6. I’d like to think that what my style of writing is, is an attempt not so much to judge the characters that I’m writing about, to expose them, to label them, to stereotype them, but instead to make them come alive for the reader with all their strengths and their flaws intact.
  7. My books are written with a strong chronological spine.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an American biographer and historian. Goodwin has written several highly regarded biographies of U.S. presidents, including Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga. Her book No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995.

Source for screenshot (Author Website) / Source for quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd January 2020