Doris Kearns Goodwin Explores Lincoln's Political Genius

News Story: December 21, 2008

Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, explored the subject of her latest best-seller at the Sacred Heart University Student Affairs Lecture on November 13th. Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is an analysis of the personal and political challenges facing the 16th president.

Mrs. Goodwin, who earned her doctorate at Harvard University and later taught there, is the author of numerous works on the American presidency including respected biographies of President Lyndon B. Johnson, for whom she worked, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. She noted that Abraham Lincoln succeeded in saving the union by keeping close to him men who had the potential to bring down his government. He was able to put personal differences aside in the interests of the greater good and often forged deep personal friendships with those who would otherwise have remained his rivals – and even his enemies.

After a dinner with students and other members of the University community, the author addressed an audience of several hundred in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts and then entertained a wide-ranging series of questions from the floor. Her careful analysis of the Lincoln mystique was peppered with a rich assortment of anecdotes and personal reminiscences. She concluded with the hope that another president from the “Land of Lincoln,” Barack Obama, might govern in the inclusive style that Lincoln embodied.