An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s (Hardcover)

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s By Doris Kearns Goodwin Cover Image
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The #1 New York Times bestseller from “America’s historian-in-chief” (New York magazine)

An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s by Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of America’s most beloved historians, artfully weaves together biography, memoir, and history. She takes you along on the emotional journey she and her husband, Richard (Dick) Goodwin embarked upon in the last years of his life.

Dick and Doris Goodwin were married for forty-two years and married to American history even longer. In his twenties, Dick was one of the brilliant young men of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. In his thirties he both named and helped design Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and was a speechwriter and close advisor to Robert Kennedy. Doris Kearns was a twenty-four-year-old graduate student when selected as a White House Fellow. She worked directly for Lyndon Johnson and later assisted on his memoir.

Over the years, with humor, anger, frustration, and in the end, a growing understanding, Dick and Doris had argued over the achievements and failings of the leaders they served and observed, debating the progress and unfinished promises of the country they both loved.

The Goodwins’ last great adventure involved finally opening the more than three hundred boxes of letters, diaries, documents, and memorabilia that Dick had saved for more than fifty years. They soon realized they had before them an unparalleled personal time capsule of the 1960s, illuminating public and private moments of a decade when individuals were powered by the conviction they could make a difference; a time, like today, marked by struggles for racial and economic justice, a time when lines were drawn and loyalties tested.

Their expedition gave Dick’s last years renewed purpose and determination. It gave Doris the opportunity to connect and reconnect with participants and witnesses of pivotal moments of the 1960s. And it gave them both an opportunity to make fresh assessments of the central figures of the time—John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, and especially Lyndon Johnson, who greatly impacted both their lives. The voyage of remembrance brought unexpected discoveries, forgiveness, and the renewal of old dreams, reviving the hope that the youth of today will carry forward this unfinished love story with America.

About the Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s work for President Johnson inspired her career as a presidential historian. Her first book was Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Homefront in World War II. She earned the Lincoln Prize for Team of Rivals, in part the basis for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, about the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Her bestselling Leadership: In Turbulent Times was the inspiration for the History Channel docuseries on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt, which she executive produced. Her most recent book, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s, provides a front-row seat to the pivotal people—JFK, LBJ, RFK, and MLK—and events of this momentous decade.

Praise For…

“Doris Kearns Goodwin is a rare presence on our national stage – an historian with academic cred and pop-culture cachet.”—CBS News

“I loved this book. It is so filled with wonderful stories that are so personal and an account of history that you don't often get.” —Alan Alda

"An Unfinished Love Story offers a bird’s-eye view of familiar events, and of a decade marked by both idealism and political violence.”—Los Angeles Times

“A very powerful and important read….a great, great book.” —Wolf Blitzer, CNN

“[Doris’s] beautiful touch is all over this book.”—Hoda Kotb, NBC’s Today Show

“This is very unlike any book you’ve seen from Doris Kearns Goodwin—I’ve read them all. ‘Team of Rivals’ is my favorite, but this is the one that blows it away because it’s emotional.” —Neil Cavuto, Fox News Channel

“It is a love story—one to her late husband and one to our great country.” —Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC

“Amazing…so personal…it’s just fabulous.” —Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC

“A beautiful book.”—Willie Geist, MSNBC

"An illuminating and inspiring blend of biography, history, memoir and marital banter."—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A touching invitation to eavesdrop on a long marriage between two people who had an unusual level of access to presidential policy and personality."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Just as An Unfinished Love Story is a testament to the Kearns Goodwin marriage, so is it a love story of the United States and its democratic government. The many speeches written by Goodwin, the writings of Kearns Goodwin and both their reflections demonstrate that words do indeed matter."—The Columbus Dispatch

"An intimate political history....about the love of historical research, in this case demonstrated by a joint examination of 300 boxes of documents, drafts, and the personal flotsam accumulated over the course of a marriage played out in the arena of American politics. And about the love of America, its past and future, its struggles and promise"—The Boston Globe

"Despite so many predecessors, Goodwin’s new book, An Unfinished Love Story, manages to be different thananything that has come before. Goodwin and her husband, Richard, were both extremely close to the Kennedys andJohnson, and each of them held on to their fierce and competing loyalties to the presidents through four decades of marriage….Kearns gives us hundreds of interesting vignettes about the time she and her husband spent with these historiccharacters. But the spine of the book is the eternal debate about who deserved more credit for the landmarklegislative accomplishments of the ’60s — JFK or LBJ."Charles Kaiser, The Washington Post

“Goodwin has given us another gift. Engrossing as always, beautifully written as always, it is several stories simultaneously....The book is also timely.”—Boston Herlad

"An outstanding book that... will bring back memories both good and bad from this turbulent period and provide insights that will be new for many readers."—Bowling Green Daily News 

· “A heartfelt tribute to the author’s late husband and a captivating reflection on this pivotal era in American politics.”—Kirkus


"America's historian-in-chief."—New York magazine 

"A giant on the history and biography shelves."—The Washington Post

"With her skillful grasp of revealing detail, Ms. Goodwin brings political figures back to life."—The New York Times 

"She's a national treasure."—Anderson Cooper 


Product Details
ISBN: 9781982108663
ISBN-10: 1982108665
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 480
Language: English