Sold Out | Livingston Lecture featuring Doris Kearns Goodwin in conversation with Valerie Jackson

Author of An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s

Author Talks
Monday, Jun 17 @ 7:30pm



Woodruff Auditorium is located inside McElreath Hall. Doors and cash bar will open at 6pm.

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.

Cover of A Right Worthy Woman

About the Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s work for President Lyndon 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, chronicle of the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Her previous book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times was the inspiration for the History Channel docuseries on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt, which she executive produced. Visit her at:

About the Moderator

Headshot of Valerie Jackson

Valerie Richardson Jackson’s life embodies an innovative spirit and a list of first for Black Americans. At 13, she and her two brothers integrated an all white high school in Richmond, Virginia suffering daily harassment and intimidation. At 16, she was among the first Blacks hired as a telephone operator at the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company. With a B.S. in Business Management from Virginia Commonwealth University, she established the first clerical training program for the Neighborhood Youth Corps in Richmond. In 1971 she was among the early Black students to earn an MBA from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. After working as Account Executive at Grey Advertising, she became an Eastern Region Marketing Supervisor at Trans World Airlines‘ (now United) corporate headquarters in New York. She was the first Black to hold those positions. For over 20 years, her voice was recognized as the award winning host of WABE's Between the Lines and  Valerie Jackson in Conversation, talking with notable writers and thinkers, such as President Jimmy Carter, Ellen Goodman, SanjayGupta, Alice Walker, Deepak Chopra and Neil deGrasse Tyson. She is a partner in Atlanta Restaurant Partners, a licensed franchisee of TGIFridays. 

Serving as Atlanta’s First Lady in three of her husband Maynard Jackson’s terms, her direct efforts helped to bring the Democratic National Convention to Atlanta in 1988 and the Olympic Games in 1996. As Co-chair of the Children’s Olympic Ticket Fund, over 20,000 tickets were given to underserved children in the Atlanta area. 

A former and the first Black president of the International Women’s Forum of Georgia, she is also a former board member of Atlanta Technical College, the Girl Scouts of Northwest Georgia, American Cancer Society, and numerous other organizations. Among her many awards, she was named one of the “100 Women of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League, inducted into the YWCA of Greater Atlanta’s  Academy of Women Achievers and named an “Atlanta Legend” by Atlanta Magazine.

Valerie Jackson shared over 25 devoted years of marriage with the late Mayor Maynard Jackson and was a major force in adding his name to the Atlanta airport, now Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. She is the mother of their two daughters, Valerie-Amanda and Alexandra.

Support: The Livingston Lectures are made possible with generous funding from the Livingston Foundation of Atlanta.

Promotional language provided by publisher.

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