Laurel Morrison and Shannon Fields
A Pulitzer Prize winning author spoke to a crowd big enough to fill the Homer C. Bast Gymnasium on Wednesday, Sept 21. Doris Kearns Goodwin holds a famed reputation as a storyteller and her fan base seemed to prove that. Goodwin gave a Constitution Day speech as part of the Henry H. Fowler Program. Her speech was captivating and humorous with stories of history, presidents, personal interactions, and political power.
Goodwin’s love for presidents started during her internship for Lyndon B. Johnson at the age of 24. She told a few intimate and humorous tales of their time working together. Her fascination then progressed to Abraham Lincoln, the focus of much of her speech. She told of his less than impressive life that lacked proper education and saw many tragedies. This special constitution speech jumped from Lincoln to FDR to LBJ to JFK, and encompassed each man’s use of our one and only constitution. Goodwin did not forget to touch on presidential power both in the past and today. She commented on a few aspects of politics today with a bit of humor to lighten what is usually a serious topic in our society. Goodwin’s speech provided great wisdom and lighthearted personal tales.
Goodwin’s six books, including her Pulitzer Prize winning piece No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor have received many awards and gained a massive and loyal following. Each book has proven to be very successful and her latest piece, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is currently being developed into a movie by Stephen Spielberg. Her fame does not end with books. Goodwin regularly appears on television as a historian and a political news analyst. She has also made appearances on talk shows to discuss her work. One would think that she was busy enough but she also managed to receive an honorable education at Colby College and Harvard University and went on to teach at Harvard.
If you were there, you are lucky to have listened to a speech that caught the audience with knowledge and unbelievable personal experiences. Goodwin gives several speeches in our area so if you missed her this time or just want to hear her speak again look up her next venue at www.doriskearnsgoodwin.com. Her books are also on the website. Keep a look out on television because chances are she will pop up; if not, Spielberg’s film based on her sixth book is scheduled to debut in 2012.