Leadership (audiobook)

Introduction and afterword read by Doris Kearns Goodwin
18.1 hrs • 15 CDs • Unabridged
Target Audience: Adult
Release Date: 09/18/18
Library CD Library Edition CD titles are packaged in an attractive, full-sized, durable vinyl case with full color art. Cloth Sleeves keep compact discs protected and in numerical order. 
- 09/18/18 9781508232957
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A Kirkus Reviews Pick for Fall

In this culmination of five decades of acclaimed studies in presidential history, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin offers an illuminating exploration into the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership.

Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the man make the times or do the times make the man?

In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon four of the presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they first recognized leadership qualities within themselves, and were recognized by others as leaders.

No common pattern describes the trajectory of leadership. Although set apart in background, abilities, and temperament, these men shared a fierce ambition and a deep-seated resilience that enabled them to surmount uncommon adversity. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others.

This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency.

Review Quotes

“A masterwork on how good leaders become great leaders, how burning personal ambition can be elevated into driving ambition for a cause greater than self. Riveting, uplifting, and incisive.”

Jim Collins, New York Times bestselling author

“{A] thoughtful revisiting of the lives of four presidents…with the aim of obtaining answers to eternal questions about leadership, including what life experiences contribute to it and whether ‘the times make the leader’ or vice versa…The tone is inspirational, setting forth examples of how to do leadership right.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The most remarkable aspects of this book are the astute psychological portraits of these leaders: comprehensive, human, and engaging, clearly the results of long study.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] strong and resonant addition to the literature of the presidency.”


“The Pulitzer Prize-winning Goodwin has spent five decades studying presidential history, so you can bet she can offer insight into what makes a good leader, especially in the worst of times. Studying Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in the area of civil rights), she finds no common paths but common traits: ambition, resilience, and moral purpose.”

Library Journal

“Business students invariably ask me: ‘With what historical figure would you like to have lunch?’ Doris Kearns Goodwin has prepared a marvelous banquet with four leaders whose lives provide lessons for all of us. Pull up a chair.”

Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist