In an anecdote-filled lecture, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and educator Doris Kearns Goodwin spoke of her two loves – baseball and history.
Goodwin, who has written biographies of Lyndon Johnson, the Fitzgeralds, the Kennedys and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, spoke Tuesday to about 150 people in the Marvin Center Ballroom as part of the GW Laureate Lecture series.
Goodwin said her family is responsible for her fondness for history and baseball – her father instilled her with a love of the sport and her mother passed on the love of history.
“My love for baseball began at age six when my dad gave me a bright red score book and taught me to keep score of the Dodgers games he missed while he was at work,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin said her love for baseball helped her to connect her past with her present and future.
“There’s an invisible bond that links my sons to the grandfather they never knew,” she said.
But Goodwin said her family’s influence was not the only thing that shaped her career as a historian. Goodwin said her work with President Johnson on his memoirs was crucial to her development as a historian.
Reflecting on her career writing about past presidents, Goodwin discussed the current scandal surrounding President Clinton.
“It worries me that the public thinks Clinton is lying (about his sexual relationships) and they don’t care,” Goodwin said. “Deception may not matter now, but if we have a cynical generation growing up they will never have faith in the office of the president.”