tv Call-in with Doris Kearns Goodwin Leadership in Turbulent Times CSPAN September 23, 2018 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
extensive, most far-reaching accountable transparent system ever designed by any nation in a time of four in order to account for missing potential pow or mia. an extraordinary process. >> doris kearns goodwin can you been very gracious over the years. that'so how the audience right away. pulitzer prize winning his taurean doris kearns goodwin. (202)748-8200. [inaudible]
you know what she wanted to ask her. here's your chance. ms. goodwin, the book focuses on president lincoln, teddy roosevelt, fdr and lyndon johnson. why did you pick those books? >> that's why felt closest to. each one of those four lived inr a very turbulent time in a time of crisis which often makes the leadership more necessary and more possible. when i chose the title, "leadership in turbulent times" come i didn't think it to do as well as it does today. [inaudible] sometimes we think we're looking at the work of time and yet if we look back at what abe lincoln when he went into office comest boulware was 600,000 people were going to i die on the horizon, f
you'd ever known how difficult it would be to get through the first t month he would've thougt he could live through it. he comes into the industrial revolution, when it would break out. after your of course at the height of the depression nlg albie june assassination of jfk. [inaudible] i wanted people to remember that we've done it before we could do it again. >> cabal discovered personal personal political [inaudible] >> it argues it's one of the most important qualities in the book of the leader. i do call them my guys to another it may sound disrespectful, they each have suffered really bad reversals and grown through them.
lincoln had a near suicidal depression they felt had not kept his word. theodore roosevelt lost his wife and his mother -- [inaudible] that made him grow being out in that country. fdr of course hadad the polio. it took years for him to be able to walk and be in his wheelchair. in a different way should not compare to the reversals that was like a repudiation of himself. he finally got back to having a heart attack and i brought him back to the person who he's been before.ea >> and that was in 1955? is that correct. he then signed to win the second grantee became more conservative for wealth and power. back in 55 he just asked himself the question, what is power for?
what will i be remembered for and a refocused his life and that led to his great achievements in civil rights. >> doris kearns goodwin, would you consider all for this president should be very political animals? >> without a question. politics is in every fiber of their being. even outside of politics it would have been very hard. some of the time in everyone's life when you find a voice within the as this is the real me. they also not on the campaign trail for the first time. this is what i want to do. >> "leadership in turbulent times" was the name of the book. [inaudible] >> probably george washington. everything he did set a precedent for the country. i just didn't know him well enough. i have to know my guys to be able to look at them that way.
>> how would you compare today [inaudible] >> well come i do think they were harder times for the majority of people in terms of their everyday life when you think of soldiers in the civil ware for people in a depression not knowingep how they were goig to eat or how they were going to sleep. but we feel now because we don't feel that working together to solve what has been broken for a while and that is what is so interesting. not every leader for the moment, [inaudible] >> unit all bj personally. >> well, when i was 24 years old and what happened at the white house tonight he was elected. he said he wanted me to work in the white house, but it turned out in the weeks prior there is
a graduate student at harvard i did an article because i was in the antiwar movement and it came out with the title had to remove lyndon johnson from power. i thought he would kick me out of the program and he was a surprisingly a breakdown here for you and if i can't knowing kim. [inaudible] it's a formidable experience. the most interesting complicated character i've ever met. [inaudible] >> in some sense it was the last thing he wanted because he brushed up against [inaudible] you have more power than men when he went harvard and yale. i want a to believe him but i never did. he was as smart as anybody you could possibly know. buses and high school,
[inaudible] for peopleeo with academic pedigree is looked down upon him. i remember when he left the white house, i wanted to go back to herbert to start teaching and he said that he would come and work with me part time. [inaudible] i know how they feel about me. they can and the people that he never felt he quite lived up to although in domestic politics he did more than any of them to get the country moving in the right direction. >> doris kearns goodwin is our guest. decatur, illinois. you're on the air. >> caller: good day to you in thank you for taking my call. i recall it think it was not in the sense that we will have -- we have good people. we won't always have good
people. that comes back to the structure of the government, the checks and balances. in really good people and how we come together. we have a system where we are not being brought together by our politics. we have been separated even more. i hope that mr. madison and mr. jefferson and in all the people who helped construct our government, and that they will somehow kick in and people realize that my worst enemy is in my neighbor, isn't the lefty with a righty. his people go to restore the union. >> i understand what you're'r saying. one of the things that teddy roosevelt had was that the way democracy was founded with the
different parts of the country a different classes couldn't understand the other people'soi points of view. that is leadership and people to do, to go across party lines to bring us together to unify us and we've had so many divisions in these last years. and congress it's not just republicans andd democrats. tribalism is that the other side has nothing we want to listenn to. citizens for responsibility right now. when you think of the big changes taking place in our country, the progressive moment, civil rights moment, movement, now is the time when we have to band together to figure out who we want as our leader, how are we going to fix our broken logical situation and what will do about districting lines and campaign financing. as fdr said can any problem created by man can be solved by man. we can do this we just have to have the confidence to believe
we can. >> doris kearns goodwin identity politics andit tribalism, have e ever had a period where we are not in identity politics? >> i think we have when we come together. even you could say teddy roosevelt was able to bring the country together with rational reform under the square deal. the s. of the way forward. obviously by the second inaugural of abraham lincoln. the whole theme of that was opposed by both sides. they were fully answered [inaudible] suicide divisions always in the countries and ways to bring them together. look at the way civil rightsut played together in the 50s and 60s. [inaudible] we do come together and we will
again. >> why do you think the l lbj civil rights leadership perhaps didn't carry over to other areas? >> in this administration, certainly carried over to domestic politics. butas foreign policy was foreign to him. he thought if he could get ho chi minh in the room but somehow he would be able to persuade him that it was better to have public work projects in vietnam than to have a war and somehow because he didn't want to wear the beginning he would make the decisions without fully telling then public what he was doing. when you lose trust of the public are not telling the truth about what's going on, then your presidency was over and that is when it was guarded. he's actually admit. and that makes a difference.
>> you see some similarities betweenjo lyndon johnson and president trump? >> i think they are both larger than life characters. the emotions are really close to the surface, but i think with all bj came into office even at the eye, he already knew the purpose for which he wanted his presidency to be devoted. he said i want to get medicare, education, health care and civil rights bill through. he just rolls back congress. the congress and the president he has nowhere near the relationship that they had. yet every congressman over to the white house and the first six groups of 30. he would call at 7:00 in the morning, even at 2:00 in the morning. he said i hope i didn't wake you up. no, just laying here hoping they would call. >> in your book, "leadership in
turbulent times," you referring your book that one of abraham lincoln kinds of leadership -- [inaudible] >> about a question. he didn't have to experience coming into the presidency. the very night he won the presidency he made the decision but i'm going ton put each of my rivals into the top position in the cabinet. so he becomes the chief advisor really, his secretary of state had been his main rival. he thought he should've been president of the governor of ohio thought he should have been president. they all thought that they were better than lincoln, better educated than the more celebrated and yet within months they understood lincoln was the greatest leader of the mall. it an extraordinary thing. having the facts that are if you could convince them of what needed to be done, he could convince the country. see my brain is calling in from stamford, connecticut. you are on with his story and doris kearns goodwin.
>> at, thank you for taking my question. how important is creativity to what you studied them their success and specifically you have any techniques or tricks used to generate ideas? thankk you. >> very interesting question. i would say the 70 is essential. not sending you can connect easily. the most important thing they were able to do is get out of washington. i give you an example of that. when fdr was in washington in 1940 and there was no way we could give aid to england because we have the neutrality act and he knew he had to do something being bombeded by germany. he took a 10 day fishing trip to get away from the bureaucratic in washington. on that trip he creatively himself came up with a hole in the least idea that lend her weapons to britain and give them
back at the end of the war. and in a sense of course, but it worked if your neighbor's house is onn fire, you get it back whn the fire is over. he said he could not thought of that if he hadn't been away from washington. similarly, abraham lincoln went to the soldiers home three miles from the white house and itay ws there he thought through the whole process of life he could use military necessity for the emancipation proclamation. in our 21st seven rout, that's part of a problem for all of us. we bring our e-mails with us everywhere, the internet with this everywhere and creativity often depends upon not solitude and ability to come up with different problem-solving solutions 2 for the problems we face. >> (202)748-8200. eastern central time zone (202)748-8201 for those of you not in pacific time zones. the story of doris kearns
goodwin is our guest. the caller mentioned creativity. [inaudible] >> one of the things that all of these people have was when they were talking with somebody, they could feel something about what thatat other person was feeling, what would move them, what would change them. in a certain sense an interpersonal sense of what a group of people are feeling. i think more people they listen to, the more experience they have. teddy roosevelt once said he started off in politics not really thinking he was going to change in thend people's lives better, but once he started as a politician, going into the work, he could feel what other people were feeling and develop about what might help thisit people. i think the more people you listen to, and the more you get out of washington, but sometimes people can intuit what another
person is failing. johnson can walk in the room to senator and he can know exactly what the senator wanted. not just tangible, but maybe to help with the republicans. can you come with me on the civil rights act. 200 years from now abraham lincoln, how can you resist. >> no ordinary time to membranous 2005 [inaudible] ukiah disappear when you're writing a book, don't you? >> it takes me so long. it took me longer to write no ordinary time than it took the war to be fought. it took me five years to write
this, but i love it. it's not like i am writing every. i'm reading, researching, i love the process. >> do you like the book? it's been a rough year for you. >> it has been a rough year with my husband died a few months ago. she still were alive i probably wouldn't be able to go on this, but in a certain sense now it gives me something to do, something to think about and i do love meeting people and i even like giving a talk that i even like doing television. in a certain sense never have i believed kids are's more importt than now. i really do feel like bloodlessly can imagine that their political system than the one we have right now. they have these different times before. we've gotten through it again. once you imagine something you could make it happen. i remember when fdr said at the beginning of world war ii with a
50,000 spider plants a year. you doingaid why are that? people have to imagine a target. that's what i'm hoping this book could do. they really care about it. we know we said that these ups and downs before. america is not as fragile as we think it is. that's a man has been missing. he was working on a boat before he died about his loveca affair with america and all the letters infk physics. visit jfk and lbj and bobby kennedy, but he was watching what was happening right now and he really believed he had seen these ups and downs and many times before it's not as fragile as we think. i agree with them. >> he said he was working on that. is it finished? >> her best friend and a her bet man at our wedding and i will finish the book is that as i get back. that the next target for working on. >> stephen from new york. hi, stephen. >> yeah, hi.
i have a question. i would like to ask her about the impeachment of andrew johnson. i was a history major in college, but i didn't read much about. i was just curious if she couldd enlighten me regarding the situation. >> well, i think what the context was there was a big flip in the cabinet between the radical and the more more conservatives into how how to handle the south.at lincoln hall that there'd be a gentleness that he should allow people to come in and come back so long as the rights of the free box for respect did. his were secretary, edward stanton was on the radical side. he loved lincoln, but he was willing to push it to give more
possibilities to make sure that the southerners did not provide them as they can develop. he was actually fired from the cabinet and there is a tenure of office act, supposedly didn't allow you to do that. it was a big fight between congress and the presidency over the firing of the sky. much more importantly it really has to do with different ways of handling reconstruction. if only lincoln could have lived in reconstruction would've been the most difficult ever faced. but he had won the war. you have the patience. he had the humility and i believe he could've handled it better and maybe we'd be better off now than we were. andrew johnson just wasn't qualified for that, but he probably did not deserve in the end even though he did not stand up as sna. he did when that part of a battle by a very small margin, by one vote i believe. >> 1865 lincoln is killed or
assassinated. when this andrew johnson get impeached? >> the problem began right away with the inaccuracy shown, it entered johnson before lincoln was going to get the famous second inaugural in his speech was really a terrible speech. he started saying how he came for the people and they looked out and he thought a win against them. since ikea too much to drink and people are putting their hand. at turns out she had some illness oric medicine. lincoln had just worried from that moment on. the trouble sort of began producing and that it clear that even though he's been the governor of tennessee >> that is lincoln's second natural. doris kearns goodwin talks about
the four months betweenen withington's first election and disperse the mackerel and mark and what have been in the country and not a solid leadership >> i just was calling to see if mrs. goodwin would be interested in george washington because of the great leadership he showed found in this country to of independence in hearing before the constitution convention and during the constitutional convention. i think i would be one of the best examples of leadership. >> i couldn't agree with you more. i wish i knew more about george washington. the most important thing is not only how we let off during the resolution, but this amazing letter that he write, he worries
about whether or not [inaudible] that's what iy can depend upon. we are very lucky to have them as our first president. if i can live for a period of time i will study george. >> is going to ask you, who's the next president really want to take on george washington? anybody else out there? going to take me a long time. i'm going to work on movies for a little while. the great journalists who understand during the teddy roosevelt time.ib i got involved and i loved working with steven spielberg and i was insulted and all the way about lbj. a friend of mine worked with me the last 18 years -- [inaudible] we are farming a movie company. i think will make some documentaries. it will take 10 years hopefully. he measures the most recent book
by historian doris kearns goodwin. "leadership in turbulent times." she's been our guest here at the national book festival. >> thank you is always. >> for many inflamed, a lot of what has been revealed as not necessarily news to them. i think it is questions they've been asking themselves in reflecting on for a long time now. what this is i think is a different kind of awakening for people outside to see how it took this very particular shape. basically, i think what this is revealing is how structural racism work. this is what people mean when
they say it the system because it perpetuates the matter what the intentions are of any individual actor. it was designed a certain way. it was designed to create infrastructure and equality by stating people of color can only live here and here and why people can live over here and you're setting it up so that those homes are worth less, you know? and they are going to come especially as it accumulates over time, likely be served a weaker public services and to get on your downward spiral. inflamed and nationally a great triumph that a lot of what enacted is no longer legal. you cannot have, you know, you can't have the policies used to have before. that is great, but we can just look around us and see we are living in a separate unequal
society. segregation is go here. when people have measured it. it just is. how did that happen? it is because we never approached integration with as much vigor as segregation was created. so we never got into light untangling.as excitedly as people created it. as time passes on, neglect becomes as aggressive as a force as anything else, you know? we are getting into the end we are getting into, you know, we are just encountering this again and again. what's going on with flynt even before we get to the water crisis, it was. i was. why did we need something that exploded in national news the way it did. to be clear, there's a lot of question about why did the state do something sooner, the epa or
why did the government here with these residents were saying sooner. i think the same question goes for a lot of it. it goes for myself, environmental groups like universities, you know, there's a lot of us that i think have learned to tune out what makes us uncomfortable. but until we really reckoned with this stuff, we learn this in the 60s and until we really reckoned but create urban crisis we are not going to get through to the other side we are not. that's why we do what the exact same problems they're wrestling with back when the cities were exploding.