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The Private Lives of Our Public Figures: The Art of Biography

Is nothing-and no one-sacred to the biographer? In today's voyeuristic culture is historical perspective compromised in order to satisfy the public's need to know the sordid side of the lives of famous people?

Historian, scholar, and one of America's most respected presidential biographers, Doris Kearns Goodwin, will address some of the key issues which biographers have been debating for the past two decades.

In 1967, while a candidate for a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Doris Kearns became a White House Fellow. She joined the White House staff of President Lyndon Johnson when protests over the war in Vietnam were at an all time high and witnessed President Johnson's withdrawal from the upcoming Presidential election. Four days later on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

After President Johnson left office, he asked Doris Kearns to return to Texas with him to work full time on his memoirs and assist in establishing the presidential library and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. From this came the landmark volume, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1991). Doris Kearns Goodwin is currently finishing a biography of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II and a book on the Kennedys.

The Athenaeum and the Salvatori Center are pleased to host this distinguished guest, Doris Kearns Goodwin.