Presidential Historian and Author Doris Kearns Goodwin Addresses Sold-Out Crowd


Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin was the featured speaker for the sold-out 13th Annual Power of the Purse® on Tuesday, May 23, at the Expo Center at the Crowne Plaza in Asheville. 

The afternoon included the announcement of $270,000 in grants from the Women for Women giving circle. The grants were made to nonprofits working to facilitate safe living environments for women and girls including efforts to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, bullying, sexting and elder abuse.   

After providing background and context, Goodwin used her deep knowledge of four presidents – Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson – to lay out traits that have historically served sitting presidents well.  They included the ability to respond to adversity with resilience; a willingness to create a strong, diverse cabinet; self-reflection leading to growth; a temperament that allows for compromise; a strong connection to the people they serve; and ways to relieve the pressure of the highest office.  Each of the four leaders, she continued, left legacies that reveal the moral aspects of their presidential terms in office.  

She called for the creation of a national service program for young people as one way to bridge the political polarization of current times.  She also endorsed more women serving in political office as women seem instinctively to collaborate and seek balance. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, winner of the Carnegie Medal. Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film and television rights to the book.  Spielberg and Goodwin previously worked together on the film Lincoln, based in part on Goodwin’s award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. The book was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inaugural Book Prize for American History. 

Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, and is the author of the best sellers Wait Till Next Year, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which was adapted into an award-winning five-part TV miniseries.

She appears frequently on television and has served as a consultant and been interviewed extensively for documentaries on President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, as well as Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. 

Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency. At the age of 24, Goodwin became a White House fellow, working directly with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs.

View and order prints from the 2017 Power of the Purse online photo gallery.

Learn more about the Women for Women Giving Circle

Power of the Purse® is brought to you by CFWNC and made possible by generous sponsors.

2016 Power of the Purse® Featured Astronaut Mae Jemison

Astronaut, physician and entrepreneur Dr. Mae Jemison was the featured speaker at the sold-out 12th Annual Power of the Purse® held in Asheville.  In a wide-ranging address touching on empowerment, inclusivity, STEM education and Star Trek, Jemison took the audience on a journey through space before reminding the crowd that we are all travelers and that the planet is our ship.  “At some point, we have to acknowledge that we all are Earthlings,” she said. 

The afternoon included the announcement of $254,182 in grants made by the Women for Women giving circle. The 2016 Power of the Purse® raised more than $100,000 for The Women’s Fund, a CFWNC permanent endowment.  Proceeds from The Women’s Fund are distributed through the Women for Women grant program and this year provided $33,000 to the grant pool. 

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