For Doris Kearns Goodwin ’64, this was a winter for posing with movie stars and moguls. At doriskearnsgoodwin.com there she is with Steven Spielberg, with Sally Field’s arm draped around her shoulders, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Tony Kushner mugging for the camera.
Goodwin’s award-winning book Team of Rivals was the basis of Spielberg’s celebrated film Lincoln, starring Day-Lewis and Field. The New York Times reported that a chance conversation with Spielberg in 2000 led to the collaboration, and that Goodwin sent Spielberg a chapter at a time as she wrote.
The book, published in 2005, was rereleased last year in anticipation of the movie, which opened to dazzling reviews and garnered 12 Academy Award nominations and two statues. Interest in the film had Goodwin all over the media talking about Abraham Lincoln—in between her commentary on modern politics, Barack Obama, and the inauguration, that is.
A month before the movie’s release, Goodwin told some of her Lincoln stories on Mayflower Hill as keynote speaker at Colby’s bicentennial kickoff banquet before her latest media marathon began.
Even Comedy Central took note. In a special birthday greeting honoring Goodwin’s 70th on Jan. 4, the network’s “Indecision” site editorial producer Mary Phillips-Sandy (a Waterville native), collected Goodwin’s greatest hits on The Daily Show. “Watching Doris Kearns Goodwin tell stories about Abraham Lincoln is even better than watching Daniel Day-Lewis act stories about Abraham Lincoln,” Phillips-Sandy wrote.