Mackinac Policy Conference Preview with Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin

WDET’s Stephen Henderson and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin discuss the upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference, where she will be a keynote speaker.  Kearns Goodwin is the author of six best-selling books, including the popular political biographies “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (2005)” and multiple works on the Roosevelts.

  • Her keynote speech in Mackinaw will incorporate her experiences and research into the American presidency and relate it to developing leadership here in Michigan. She believes  every president she has examined has a part of their life that can relate to one of Michigan’s problems and provide a historical perspective.
  • Kearns Goodwin explains her new book will tie the past Presidents together and looks at how they adapted to societal change. She talks about Lyndon B. Johnson’s transition into a civil rights leader and looks at how modern society and taste can change perceptions of the past. She relates that his story as an indication that the Presidency needs to remain flexible and willing to change according to the public’s needs.
  • Stephen and Kearns Goodwin also discuss the popularity of movies like “Selma” and history making its way into popular media forms. She says it is important to stay true to the values and characters because people may not know the non-fiction behind the screen. She acknowledges that there are some artistic elements involved in creating historical media, but problems occur when circumstances or situations are inaccurately recreated. 

Click the audio link above to hear their full conversation.

Image credit: Dave W. Coulter CC

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