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What If Teddy Roosevelt Were President Now? A Conversation With Doris Kearns Goodwin

How would Theodore Roosevelt govern if he were president today? Who better to ask than Doris Kearns Goodwin - a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian who has studied and written about Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and now Theodore Roosevelt.

In The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism she documents the friendship between Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft, as well as their relationship with the journalists who covered them.  

On St. Louis on the Air today, Kearns Goodwin speculated about how Roosevelt would govern in the present day. She believes his way of speaking – very simple and folksy, with memorable phrases – would allow him to be as effective at reaching the public and bringing people together as he was in his time.

Kearns Goodwin also discussed the very different relationship journalists of the 20th century had with the people they covered. Rather than work at arms-length as is the case today, Roosevelt worked closely with the writers of McClure’s Magazine. “They really created a partnership where he respected them, they respected him, they could criticize each other, and together they created the Progressive Movement at the end of the 20th century,” said Kearns Goodwin.  

Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak at the St. Louis Speaker Serieson May 6th.

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh.

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