Roanoke College

Famed political historian and story teller charms Roanoke College audience

  • Famed political historian and story teller charms Roanoke College audience

  • 09/23/11
  • Salem, Va.-Presidential historian and famed story teller, Doris Kearns Goodwin, captivated a large audience at Roanoke College this week with tales of political power, unlikely friendships and White House history.  

    The Pulitzer Prize winning author spoke to a crowd of at least 1,700 people on Sept. 21 in Roanoke's Bast Center, as part of the Henry H. Fowler Program.

    Goodwin's biography as a story teller is extensive. When she was 24, she became mesmerized by political life while interning at the White House under President Lyndon Johnson.

    Her writing reveals the inside worlds of many U.S. presidents, from Johnson, the Kennedys and the Roosevelts to her 2005 best-seller, "Team of Rivals," which details Abraham Lincoln's political team. Steven Spielberg is filming a movie in Virginia based on the book.

    Read a link here to media coverage of Goodwin's Salem appearance:

    Goodwin's visit ties with Roanoke's program theme for the school year, "Mystic Chords of Memory: The Results of the Civil War."

    The following Civil War-related events are planned at Roanoke this fall:

    Lincoln and Race

    Wednesday, November 2, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

    Dr. Lucas Morel, acting chair of the politics department at Washington & Lee University, will speak on "Lincoln and Race." Morel, who is the Lewis G. John Term Professor of Politics, has written extensively on Lincoln and civil rights. He is author of "Lincoln's Sacred Effort," and other works. The event is co-sponsored by the Fowler Program and the James C. and S. Maynard Turk Pre-Law Program.


    Specimen Days: Walt Whitman, Virginia, and the Civil War

    Wednesday, November 9, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

    Artist Binh Danh and author Robert Schultz will discuss Walt Whitman's trip to Virginia to look for his wounded brother. They'll also talk about Whitman's stay in Washington, D.C., to nurse war casualties and the marks and memorials that the war has left on Virginia's landscape. The talk will feature recent leaf prints and Daguerreotypes by Danh.


    The Role of Roanoke College during the Civil War Era

    Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 p.m., Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom

    Free tickets are available at on October 3.

    Dr. Mark Miller, a Roanoke College history professor and college historian, will speak on the topic, "Confederates at the Gates: Roanoke College and the Fight for Academic Freedom in 1911." Dr. Tom Mays, Roanoke alumnus and chair of the history department at Humboldt State University in California will speak on "Maroons in Gray: Roanoke College in the Civil War." Miller is author of "Dear Old Roanoke," a history of the college. Mays, who is retired from the military, is author of "Cumberland Blood: Champ Ferguson's Civil War," among other works.


    Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook. U.S. News & World Report ranks Roanoke No. 7 on its list of  "Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts College."

    For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

  • Public Relations
  • 540-375-2282