Thursday, January 22, 2009

Living History

Pretty soon, the media is going to let President Obama get down to everyday business. There will be less scrutiny of the Obama family's every move, meal, and outfit change. Sure, the administration will be covered, but the Inaugural hype will die down, and that saddens me a bit because it means less face time with Doris Kearns Goodwin. She's been everywhere these last few weeks, the morning talk shows, evening news programs, and oh my gravy, Oprah Winfrey. That's right; Doris Kearns Goodwin was sitting front and center on Oprah's show yesterday. Listen, I'm not afraid to wear my nerdiness on my sleeve. I'll admit that the funniest thing I've seen since Election Night was when The Daily Show identified correspondent Aasif Maandvi as Aasif Kearns Goodwin Maandvi. Clearly, the writers at The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are not afraid to let their inner geeks show either. I loved seeing Doris on those programs. She is classy, has a great sense of humor, and tells excellent stories. Whether providing presidential historical context on a television show or in her books, she brings historical figures to life. My family, another group of individuals who love history are Doris Kearns Goodwin fans. Several years ago at Thanksgiving, I was in Cape Cod with my husband's family discussing Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Those present who had read it positively gushed. Then a few weeks later several of my relatives happily unwrapped copies from each other on Christmas morning. Yesterday on Oprah, Doris revealed that after reading the book, Barack Obama called her eager to discuss it. If I had known a person could just call her up to chat, I would not have been so jealous when my mother and brother had tickets to hear her speak at a local university last year!
If you, like me, are sad about seeing less of Doris Kearns Goodwin in the next few weeks, console yourself with the fact that she'll probably pop up around the one hundred day mark for the Obama administration or with one of her other books. I personally loved her memoir Wait Till Next Year. There's not much presidential in it, but it's a beautifully written book describing her love of family and baseball.

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