Keynote Address: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Posted by Cheryl Jones on

Doris Kearns Goodwin, speaking at the Mackinac Policy Conference, said public-private partnerships have been the key to American success.   

As she opened her remarks, Goodwin said she has been “mesmerized” by the public-private partnership that resulted in the Grand Bargain as part of Detroit’s bankruptcy process.  She described the process as “miraculous” that could only have been achieved by a focus on outcomes. 

She focused her remarks at the Mackinac Policy Conference on the public-private partnership that resulted in Detroit’s amazing productivity during World War II.   She said when President Roosevelt realized by 1940 that the country would need a partnership of business to create the Arsenal of Democracy and win the coming war. 

According to Goodwin, World War II brought about a host of stories about the social revolution taking place and launching the middle class.   And she says she hopes the story of Detroit’s recovery will be a similar tale that is shared for generations to come.

In a question and answer session with Tom Howes of The Detroit News,  Goodwin said there is no doubt that a major crisis helps pull together the kinds of public-private partnerships that she described, but she said she hopes that such partnerships can be formed at any time.  Pointing to Teddy Roosevelt as an example, she said identifying a key issue that needs addressed can help keep momentum going.  She suggested that focusing on education and housing as issues that could help keep energy going in Detroit.

Take a look at Doris Kearns Goodwin recent appearance on Detroit Public TV's American Black Journal for 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assasination >

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