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Doris Kearns Goodwin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Ordinary Time (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wait Till Next Year (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Team of Rivals (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bully Pulpit (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leadership: In Turbulent Times (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

In Our Own Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Word on Words: The Best of John Seigenthaler's Interviews(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a non-fiction author with a knack for bringing historical figures to life. Most of her books touch on notable figures in history and the roles they played in shaping the country. Thanks to her skills, Goodwin is a Pulitzer for History winner for her No Ordinary Times book. The book gives an account of the events that took place around the Second World War. Goodwin has also authored many best-sellers that offer a refreshing view of events that are part of American history.

Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals illuminates the political life of Abraham Lincoln. Often referred to as a political genius, Lincoln rose from a one-term congressman to beat three gifted rivals and become the president of the United States. This book is set into the 1850s when the conflict over slavery was threatening to turn into a civil war. Lincoln and his rivals sought the presidency throughout the turbulent 1850s, and in May 1860, Lincoln secured a ticket to the Whitehouse.
Goodwin highlights some of the reasons why Lincoln succeeded while his more accomplished rivals failed in the race to the White house. His ability to put himself in other people’s shoes and understand other people’s desires is among the attributes that pushed him to the top. While his opponents were angry after his win, he used this attribute to bring them together and build the most unusual cabinet in US history. With a federal cabinet, Lincoln had all the talents required to preserve the union and win the war.

Team of Rivals also highlights the horrifying struggle that Lincoln had to endure during his term. From hostile members of Congress to incompetent generals, Lincoln bore it all and so much more. While these factors would have compromised the presidency, winning the respect of former competitors earned him loyal friends who saw him through the turbulent times. The book can be summed up as multiple biographies focusing on Lincoln’s mastery of people and how his unique abilities helped shape the most consequential presidency in history. Some of the people in Lincoln’s cabinet covered in this book include Edward Bates (Attorney General), Salmon Chase (Secretary of the Treasury), and William H. Seward (Secretary of State).

Goodwin highlights the events at the Republican National Convention held in 1860. Here, Lincoln gets to face his opponents that include Bates, Chase, and Seward. The author brings these four characters to life while highlighting their similarities and differences. Chase is the restless soul unable to find satisfaction despite his achievements while Seward is ever buoyant and satisfied with the choices he has made. After the bio on these four key men in history, the author takes the reader through the Civil War through the eyes of Lincoln’s cabinet. The book also goes beyond the war and covers Lincoln’s assassination and the lives of the cabinet members after their time in office.

Team of Rivals is a welcome break from the books on Lincoln’s presidency that barely tell his relationship with his political rivals. The end of the book is touching and powerful, and it is hard not to mourn the death of Lincoln all over again. Goodwin’s prowess and ability to bring historical figures to life is evident throughout this book. Definitely a great read that will make it easier for you to understand an essential part of American history.

No Ordinary Time

No ordinary time is a chronicle of the revolutionary and vibrant time in US history. The book gives an account of world war two as experienced at the American home front. Godwin tells the story of Roosevelt’s partnerships and marriage, the life of Eleanor as the First land, and the people that surrounded them in the white house.

No ordinary times starts with the invasion of France by Nazi Germany in 1940 and ends with the death of President Roosevelt in 1945. The book highlights the struggles that Roosevelt worked through in trying to bring Americans together and the Lend-Lease bill that saw the rise of democracy in the United States. Other topics in this book include Racism during this era and the role that blacks played during World War II. Goodwin can draw a parallel in the way America treated blacks in the 1940s and Hitler’s time in power.

This is a 600-page book covering an array of subjects. It gives an account of life during the war for those who never participated actively in the war. While the writing mostly focuses on the lives of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, the story touches a lot of other people in and out of the Whitehouse. You will get to meet Missy Leland, Roosevelt’s secretary and possibly his mistress, Lorena Hickok, a journalist who is madly in love with Eleanor, and other lodgers inside the people’s house. The shenanigans that occurred during the Roosevelt’s era are beautifully written and take the reader back to those exciting times.

While this book stars political figures, it can be summed up as a portrait of a marriage. The oddly paired and emotionally destructive marriage of Roosevelt and Eleanor causes more harm than good to both parties involved. At the end of this book, Roosevelt comes out as the prick that brought about the most significant transformation in American history while Eleanor is depicted as the neglected wife who never got the attention and support she needed from her husband. While the duo did not see eye to eye as far as marriage was concerned, they made a formidable team politically. Roosevelt focused on the bigger global picture, while Eleanor remained strong on the ground, going throughout the country and providing the personal touch needed to keep the people united.
No Ordinary Times is a well-researched, compelling, and beautifully written story. The book covers historical events and some scenes that read like they were lifted from a modern soap opera. If you want to learn more about Roosevelt humorously and engagingly, this book is a perfect choice.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Doris Kearns Goodwin

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