goodwin doris kearns

Having hope means that one will not give in to overwhelming anxiety, a defeatist attitude, or depression in the face of difficult challenges or setbacks. Hope is more than the sunny view that everything will turn out all right; it is believing you have the will and the way to accomplish your goals.
—  Daniel Goleman. (An excerpt from one of my most favorite books, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Team Of Rivals: A Review

Abraham Lincoln, it’s true, has been written about more than any other President, and continues to be the subject of scrutiny and debate. While I had every American’s basic knowledge of his life, death, and legacy, Team of Rivals is the first book I’ve ever read about our world-famous 16th President. 

Goodwin’s book focuses mostly on Lincoln’s political genius and dedicates significant time to the biographical detail of his cabinet members. The first third, in particular, was educational as it provided a great overview of the political landscape during Lincoln’s ascent to power. The remaining two-thirds, which cover Lincoln’s presidency, focus on his political schemes and particular genius. While this book is masterful, I do not recommend reading it as a primer on Lincoln, as I did. Some more knowledge of his life and of the Civil War, which plays out in the background, would have been helpful. 

Overall, educational and the prose was gripping, but my lack of familiarity with the Civil War outside of a few major battles was a disadvantage. However, it was great to learn about Lincoln’s philosophy in context with his contemporaries. Examining his nomination and election victory through this lens was particularly instructive, and I would recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in 19th century American politics.  

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Superhero stories sometimes struggle to create flawed but relatable characters with interesting stories and personalities. When the protagonist fails it’s usually because of circumstances out of their control or trying to do too much with too little and not because of gross incompetence or greed, but let’s be real: as great as it is to aspire to nobility, it’s way more fun to watch a bunch of bumbling second-rate crooks rip each other off, poorly.

It follows a group of five minor villains who try to make themselves the new Sinister Six despite barely being able to knock over neighborhood pet stores. They’re always looking for the next big score while navigating parole and avoiding the ire of more dangerous criminals. As you’d expect, there’s a good amount of bickering and backstabbing, but also a small amount of camaraderie as well.

Premise aside, Superior Foes of Spider-Man has some of the best storytelling, character development, dialogue and overall writing in mainstream comics today. It’s funny, interesting, relatable and just very clever. In these pages you’ll get to see villains poop their pants when the Punisher shows up. You’ll see Dr. Doom ask an artist to draw him like one of his French girls, and men in grizzly suits admit, at a super-villain support group, that part of the reason they get beaten by Spider-Man so often is because they’re trying so hard not to laugh when he quips at them during battle.

Superior Foes is pretty heavy on the pop culture references but you can definitely enjoy it without getting all of them. There are a lot of moving pieces and great moments, like when you get so invested in a villain’s success that you find yourself turning the page and thinking, “oh crap, the hero’s here”.

[Read Superior Foes of Spider-Man on comiXology]

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at comiXology. Once again, his apologies to Doris Kearns Goodwin.


Evan Peters’ ‘American Horror Story’ season 6 role has been revealed

So Evan Peters finally decided to show up on American Horror Story: Roanoke’s fifth episode — and let’s just say that it was definitely worth the wait. The episode begins with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin taking us back in time — and it turns out Peters’ character is tied to AHS: Freak Show.


“I felt as if I would soon be transported to a magical land, able to read books that would carry me to places I was never able to go. It was a thrill. And that was the beginning of a lifelong experience of not only loving libraries, but living in libraries.” - Doris Kearns Goodwin on her love of libraries

If it’s really going to work, the relationship between the President and the Congress has got to be almost incestuous. He’s got to know them even better than they know themselves.
—  Lyndon B. Johnson, on the relationship between Presidents and Congress, to Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream
There is no chance the ordinary person in the future will ever remember me. No chance. I’d rather have been better off looking for immortality through my wife and children and their children in turn instead of seeking all that love and affection from the American people. They’re just too fickle.
—  Lyndon B. Johnson, on his legacy, to Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream

Jacqueline Kennedy Story Time: Her editing days & mother days

1. On editing friend of Jackie’s, Scott Moyers, recounts an interesting rendezvous with Jackie at work: "She was a profoundly generous woman, a sort of mother figure to us all, with a lot of empathy. She put out a sense of family concern. When I got hit by a drunk driver, my knee got shredded. She said to me gently, “Now listen, Scott, if you need to borrow a few bucks, I don’t want you to hesitate to ask. Your family isn’t in New York–.” And I said, “I’m okay. I’m okay.” It bothered her that I would wake up in the morning in a hurry, showered come to work in the winter with my hair wet. She snapped at me, “Scott, you’re going to get a cold with your hair wet!” I ignored this, and then one day, she bought me a blue wool hat to wear to work. She had her little pet theories that changed form month to month on how to cure a cold or flu. At one point, she hit upon Theraflu. I remember being really sick and Jackie threw a bunch of Theraflu down on my desk and said, “Take that Theraflu!”

2. Writer Jonathan Cott recounted of an encounter with Jackie: “I first worked with Jackie in 1986 on a book entitled The Search for Omm Sety, the story of a remarkable 20th century English-Egyptian priestess of Isis. Jackie informed me that she had met Omm Sety, who had lived in a mud hut in Upper Egyptian village of Abydos…on a trip Jackie had taken down the Nile in the 1970s. Ever since then, Jackie said she had been fascinated by this woman, and she talked to me with such intensity and passion about the book I was…writing that it seemed as if she were dreaming it herself. When I had completed the first draft of my manuscript, Jackie asked me to come to her office, where she had brought from her home a score of books on ancient Egyptian history, art, and religion…Listening to my editor’s wonderfully knowledgeable ideas about ancient Egypt and to her enthusiastic but specific comments about my manuscript, I soon began to imagine that like Omm Sety, I too was entering the world of Egypt, conversing with an Egyptian queen who was as beautiful as Nefertiti. Ad then I cam out of my little trance, and Jackie was pointing to a page of my manuscript, saying, "A diminishing sentence. Pull out the stops. Make this passage more dramatic…Let us understand what it meant for…Omm Sety….to come to know the meaning and purpose of her life…Dottiness was her cover-up. Say she was a witch!” Jackie was my inspiring and magical editor, who took me on a journey I will never forget.“

3. In her later life, Jackie learned to turn the tables on fame, deflating the attention with her droll humor. When once she and Carly Simon were swimming at the vineyard, some helicopters with photographers circled up above them. Shrugging with resignation, Jackie stood in the water and said, "They must know you’re here!” When she and a Doubleday executive rushed down the aisle of a plane to get seats at the back, all the other passengers stared in shocked curiosity, some continuing to look back throughout the flight. She stage-whispered to him, “They all know you!” Another visit in Carolina Herrera’s showroom, Herrera had buyers from Neiman Marcus. Jackie was trying on a suit and she came out and saw all of those buyers sitting there, so she turned and smiled big, “Don’t you think this is lovely.” They almost fainted when they saw who was modeling but Jackie could only laugh!

4. In 1957, Jackie was pregnant with Caroline, but her motherly instincts had long kicked in. Duke Zeller said: “Another Senate page in the summer of 1957 and I were friends. We went to his parents’ house, right next door to the Kennedy’s, but were locked out and his parents weren’t home. Mrs. Kennedy was in the house and came to her door. She asked, "What are you boys doing out so late?” So, the upshot was, she invited us to come in and wait. I don’t know if she thought we were going to get into mischief, but it seemed to me to be, a kind of a maternal, protective quality. She was also pregnant. Very pregnant. She wanted us to stay with her, concerned about these two kids sitting on the porch alone. Did we want something to eat? She thought it best that we didn’t go anywhere. She asked us, “What was going on in the Senate?” Very motherly.“

5. Doris Kearns Goodwin noted Jackie: "For Jackie, being a mother seemed to validate her sense of self. It gave her an inner peace and security which nothing else ever had. It opened her heart.”

6. When Jackie campaigned with Jack, she stuck very close to Caroline as the days blurred by. At home, she admitted that “I was always coming down to breakfast in my wrapper with Caroline and there would be a couple of strange governors or labor leaders I’d never seen before, smoking cigars and eating scrambled eggs.”


It’s a big week for nonfiction paperbacks. Here’s what’s out:

the-lord-of-the-fandoms24  asked:

Hi I was wondering what qualifications do you have that make you a presidential historian? Apologize if this comes across as rude I'm just curious.

I had to recite the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo backwards and then Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough beat the shit out of me to jump me in. It was almost exactly the same process necessary to join the Crips (which is the first step required of prospective Presidential historians).