Best 116 of Doris Kearns Goodwin quotes - MyQuotes

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Doris Kearns Goodwin
By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

What the American Dream means to me is the fact that - what founded this country - when I think about those posters that were put up in Europe, which said, "Come to America and you'll have golden sidewalks. The land will be yours." There was something so inspirational about the fact that these immigrants from all over the world felt that here was a place of freedom, a place of opportunity.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

As ever, books remained a medium through which Theodore and Edith connected and interpreted larger world.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

We've got to figure out a way that we give a private sphere for our public leaders. We're not gonna get the best people in public life if we don't do that.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lincoln’s liberal use of his pardoning power created the greatest tension between the two men (Lincoln and Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War). Stanton felt compelled to protect military discipline by exacting proper punishment for desertions or derelictions of duty, while Lincoln looked for any “good excuse for saving a man’s life.” When he found one, he said, “I go to bed happy as I think how joyous the signing of my name will make him and his family and his friends.” Stanton would not allow himself such leniency. A clerk recalled finding Stanton one night in his office, “the mother, wife, and children of a soldier who had been condemned to be shot as a deserter, on their knees before him pleading for the life of their loved one. He listened standing, in cold and austere silence, and at the end of their heart-breaking sobs and prayers answered briefly that the man must die. The crushed and despairing little family left and Mr. Stanton turned, apparently unmoved, and walked into his private room.” The clerk thought Stanton an unfeeling tyrant, until he discovered him moments later, “leaning over a desk, his face buried in his hands and his heavy frame shaking with sobs. ‘God help me to do my duty; God help me to do my duty!’ he was repeating in a low wail of anguish.” On such occasions, when Stanton felt he could not afford to set a precedent, he must have been secretly relieved that the president had the ultimate authority.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I wish we could go back to the time when the private lives of our public figures were relevant only if they directly affected their public responsibilities.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

A lot of times when people are on campaigns, it can be like a movie set.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

In 1908, in a wild and remote area of the North Caucasus, Leo Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the age, was the guest of a tribal chief “living far away from civilized life in the mountains.” Gathering his family and neighbors, the chief asked Tolstoy to tell stories about the famous men of history. Tolstoy told how he entertained the eager crowd for hours with tales of Alexander, Caesar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. When he was winding to a close, the chief stood and said, “But you have not told us a syllable about the greatest general and greatest ruler of the world. We want to know something about him. He was a hero. He spoke with a voice of thunder; he laughed like the sunrise and his deeds were strong as the rock….His name was Lincoln and the country in which he lived is called America, which is so far away that if a youth should journey to reach it he would be an old man when he arrived. Tell us of that man.” “I looked at them,” Tolstoy recalled, “and saw their faces all aglow, while their eyes were burning. I saw that those rude barbarians were really interested in a man whose name and deeds had already become a legend.” He told them everything he knew about Lincoln’s “home life and youth…his habits, his influence upon the people and his physical strength.” When he finished, they were so grateful for the story that they presented him with “a wonderful Arabian horse.” The next morning, as Tolstoy prepared to leave, they asked if he could possibly acquire for them a picture of Lincoln. Thinking that he might find one at a friend’s house in the neighboring town, Tolstoy asked one of the riders to accompany him. “I was successful in getting a large photograph from my friend,” recalled Tolstoy. As he handed it to the rider, he noted that the man’s hand trembled as he took it. “He gazed for several minutes silently, like one in a reverent prayer, his eyes filled with tears.” Tolstoy went on to observe, “This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skilful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character. “Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together. “We are still too near to his greatness,” Tolstoy concluded, “but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Go ahead, and fear not. You will have a full library at your service.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

The Yale graduate who had refused to read outside the course curriculum (the future Pres. Taft) suddenly found himself inspired.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

One journalist complemented another that his article on a dispute, "had made both sides see themselves as they are.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lincoln had internalized the pain of those around him-the wounded soldiers, the captured prisoners, the defeated Southerners. Little wonder that he was overwhelmed at times by a profound sadness that even his own resilient temperament could not dispel.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

When I do research, I have done - 90 percent of my time is the research, the other ten percent is the writing. So I don't have to face a blank piece of paper. I can look at this as a quote that I have from somewhere.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Their lifelong love of learning, their remarkable wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, was fostered primarily by their father. He read aloud to them at night, eliciting their responses to works of history and literature. He organized amateur plays for them, encourage pursuit of special interests, prompted them to write essays on their readings, and urge them to recite poetry.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

According to his habit, Theodore Roosevelt sought to harness anxiety through action.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

You can be enormously effective for a period of time, because it's almost like there's an engine in you that needs to keep going, and you have a greater drive than other people - who may be more happy and balanced in life - because you have to keep going out and proving yourself over and over again.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Theodore Roosevelt's father wrote him, "I fear for your future. We cannot stand so corrupt a government for any great length of time.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Though [Abraham Lincoln] never would travel to Europe, he went with Shakespeare's kings to Merry England; he went with Lord Byron poetry to Spain and Portugal. Literature allowed him to transcend his surroundings.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I read them (articles TR wrote on his honeymoon) all over to Edith and her corrections and help were most valuable to me.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

The one thing that John Kennedy did, above all else, was to energize young people to feel that they wanted to give something to their country. I just hope, for young people of this generation, that they'll experience that feeling once again, that by working on large goals, they can do something more than their own individual ambition.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Where's the progress that we're going to see in Afghanistan? You have to keep public support both on the economy and the war or these things will really become troubling.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

People will love him (Theodore Roosevelt) for the enemies he has made.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

He (William Howard Taft) had little patience with the unconscious arrogance of conscious wealth and financial success.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

One-time rival and subsequent usurper Secretary of State Seward finally settled into an assessment of Lincoln that, "His confidence and compassion increase every day.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I think with Lyndon Johnson, the most important thing I learned was that he never had the sense of security that comes from inside. It always depended on other people making him feel good about himself, which meant that he was always beholden, continually needing to succeed. He could never stop. There was such a restlessness in him.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

If he (Teddy Roosevelt) lacked Will Taft's immediate charisma, gradually his classmates could not resist the spell of his highly original personality.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Whatever it is that you do, if you have that passion and desire for it, that's the most important thing.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Years of concentration solely on work and individual success meant that in his retirement [Lyndon Johnson] could find no solace in family, in recreation, in sports or in hobbies. It was almost as if the hole in his heart was so large that even the love of a family, without work, could not fill it.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

We have the right to demand that if we find men against whom there is not only suspicion, but almost a certainty that they have had collusion with men whose interests were in conflict with the interests of the public, they shall, at least, be required to bring positive facts with which to prove there has not been such collusion; and they ought themselves to have been the first to demand such an investigation." -Teddy Roosevelt

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Even though Lyndon Johnson's presidency was in many ways scarred forever by the war in Vietnam, and destroyed in a lot of ways, he - as a character - was even larger than his presidency. Being able to get to know him well, that firsthand relationship with this large character, I think is what drew me to writing books about presidents.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Teddy Roosevelt "had relished "every hour" of every day as president. Indeed, (he was) fearing the "dull thud" he would experience upon returning to private life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

As a consequence [of a closed economic circle], in 1912 there was not a single Irishman who sat on a single board of a major Boston bank.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Edith (the future Mrs. Teddy Roosevelt) developed a lifelong devotion to drama and poetry. "I have gone back to Shakespeare, as I always do," she would write seven decades later.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

The White House is such an extraordinary, simple, beautiful place. It's an extraordinary piece of our history, because it is the one thing that binds our country together. We don't have a king obviously, but we have this president, and the fact that almost all of them have lived in the same place, and so much history took place in those rooms. You can't help but feel awe-inspired by being there.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Lyndon Johnson is still the most formidable, fascinating, frustrating, irritating individual I think I've ever known in my entire life. He was huge, a huge character, not only standing six feet four, but when you talked to him, he violated the normal human space between people. He was a great storyteller. The problem was that half his stories, I discovered, weren't true.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Well, did anything interesting happen today?' [my father] would begin. And even before the daily question was completed I had eagerly launched into my narrative of every play, and almost every pitch, of that afternoon's contest. It never crossed my mind to wonder if, at the close of a day's work, he might find my lengthy account the least bit tedious. For there was mastery as well as pleasure in our nightly ritual. Through my knowledge, I commanded my father's undivided attention, the sign of his love. It would instill in me an early awareness of the power of narrative, which would introduce a lifetime of storytelling, fueled by the naive confidence that others would find me as entertaining as my father did.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I think if I were reading to a grandchild, I might read Tolstoy's War and Peace. They would learn about Russia, they would learn about history, they would learn about human nature. They would learn about, "Can the individual make a difference or is it great forces?" Tolstoy is always battling with those large issues. Mostly, a whole world would come alive for them through that book.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country - bigger than all the Presidents together. We are still too near to his greatness,' (Leo) Tolstoy (in 1908) concluded, 'but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.' (748)

By Anonym 18 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

She was never satisfied with anything less than perfection, but she was no grind. She was too interested in people.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

It seemed as though Theodore's passion for Alice far exceeded his genuine knowledge of her.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

A real democracy would be a meritocracy where those born in the lower ranks could rise as far as their natural talents and discipline might take them.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Unlike depression, melancholy does not have a specific cause. It is an aspect of temperament, perhaps genetically based. One may emerge from the hypo, as Lincoln did, but melancholy is an indelible part of one's nature.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

If your ambition comes at the price of an unbalanced life, that there's nothing else that gives you comfort but success, it's not worth it.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Sometimes, sitting in the park with my boys, I imagine myself back at Ebbets Field, a young girl once more in the presence of my father, watching the players of my youth on the grassy fields below—Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges. There is magic in these moments, for when I open my eyes and see my sons in the place where my father once sat, I feel an invisible bond among our three generations, an anchor of loyalty and love linking my sons to the grandfather whose face they have never seen but whose person they have come to know through this most timeless of sports.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

FDR, even weakened and near the end of his life, opted to allow disabled veterans to see his true condition. This allowed them to understand the life which could still be before them.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I now rely on a scanner, which reproduces the passages I want to cite, and then I keep my own comments on those books in a separate file so that I will never confuse the two again.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

It took me five years on Lyndon Johnson, ten years on the Kennedys, six years on the Roosevelts. Inevitably, you get shaped by the people that you're thinking about during that period of time.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

On Wednesday night, November 13, (1861), Lincoln went with Seward and Hay to McClellan's house. Told that the general was at a wedding, the three waited in the parlor for an hour. When McClellan arrived home, the porter told him the president was waiting, but McClellan passed by the parlor room and climbed the stairs to his private quarters. After another half hour, Lincoln again sent word that he was waiting, only to be informed that the general had gone to sleep. Young John Hay was enraged, " I wish here to record what I consider a portent of evil to come," he wrote in his diary, recounting what he considered an inexcusable "insolence of epaulettes," the first indicator "of the threatened supremacy of the military authorities." To Hay's surprise, Lincoln "seemed not to have noticed it specially, saying it was better at this time not to be making points of etiquette & personal dignity." He would hold McClellan's horse, he once said, if a victory could be achieved. Though Lincoln, the consummate pragmatist, did not express anger at McClellan's rebuff, his aides fumed at every instance of such arrogance. Lincoln's secretary, William Stoddard, described the infuriating delay when he accompanied Lincoln to McClellan's anteroom. "A minute passes, then another, and then another, and with every tick of the clock upon the mantel your blood warms nearer and nearer its boiling-point. Your face feels hot and your fingers tingle, as you look at the man, sitting so patiently over there...and you try to master your rebellious consciousness." As time went by, Lincoln visited the haughty general less frequently. If he wanted to talk with McClellan, he sent a summons for him to appear at the White House.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

I shall always be grateful for this curious love of history, allowing me to spend a lifetime looking back into the past, allowing me to learn from these large figures about the struggle for meaning for life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Doris Kearns Goodwin

(from John Hay's diary) “The President never appeared to better advantage in the world,” Hay proudly noted in his diary. “Though He knows how immense is the danger to himself from the unreasoning anger of that committee, he never cringed to them for an instant. He stood where he thought he was right and crushed them with his candid logic.