Peer Into the Mind of a President with Doris Kearns Goodwin at the 11th Annual Bennett Forum on the Presidency

Doris Kearns Goodwin

What makes a great president? How do presidents successfully communicate with citizens of their country to mobilize their support or win their approval? How will the events of our times be remembered historically?

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Howard & Virginia Bennett Forum on the Presidency will feature Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian who will discuss her award-winning books, the American presidency and leadership lessons from the White House. Goodwin will be in conversation with David Von Drehle, columnist for The Washington Post.

This event hosted each year by the Truman Library Institute has grown to become Kansas City’s most anticipated politically-themed program. When Goodwin last spoke at the Bennett Forum in 2015, the event sold out more than a week in advance.

Goodwin’s previous appearance at the Bennett Forum was highlighted by her talented storytelling on the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and other presidential legends.

“Every now and then when I get too discouraged about politics, I just keep thinking that in the end, if you have the right person in the right place at the right time, they really can change the course of history and make life better for our country and for our people,” Goodwin said at the Bennett Forum in 2015.

David Von Drehle

Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and author of six critically-acclaimed and New York Times bestselling books. She collaborated with Steven Spielberg for his 2012 film Lincoln, which was based on her celebrated book on Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Goodwin is well known for her commentary on television and is frequently seen on NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN and more. Goodwin is currently writing a book on presidential leadership.

The Bennett Forum on the Presidency was established in 2006 by Mary and Michael Johnston in honor of the role Mary’s father played in the founding of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Previous Forum panelists – including Bill Moyers, Ted Sorensen, Madeleine Albright, Michael Beschloss, Arianna Huffington, Jane Mayer and Doug Brinkley – have grappled with timely and fascinating topics such as presidential power, transformational leadership and presidential decision making during times of war.

Bennett Forum tickets are currently available for Truman Library Institute members, who attend the event free and gain access to priority seating. General admission tickets for the Bennett Forum on the Presidency are $10 and go on sale October 9. The last time Goodwin spoke at the Bennett Forum tickets sold out with more than a week before the event, so plan to buy your ticket well in advance. Learn more at

About The Author: KC Studio

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.



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