That subtext, though, assuming it even exists, is kept fairly low-key. For the most part, Leadership confines itself to four variations on a basic theme: When you’re facing a crisis situation, you need to come up with a plan of attack, and then you have to persuade enough people to go along with it that the people who don’t won’t be able to stop you — and be prepared to make some concessions along the way, or fine-tune your plan if it isn’t working.
Given the strong emphasis that Goodwin places on her presidents’ negotiating skills, you might even say her book is a tribute to the art of the deal.
Ron Hogan is the founding editor of Beatrice.com, one of the longest-running websites dedicated to books and writers.
Leadership in Turbulent Times
Doris Kearns Goodwin
(Simon & Schuster, $30)
Available Sept. 18
Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak Sept. 26 at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, presented by the Dallas Museum of Art’s Arts & Letters Live and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Simulcast tickets in a rear section of the hall with screen projection are still available ($50, includes book; discounts for two tickets, members, educators and students) at dma.org/all.