I listened the first half if this book. I have read several books on the civil war but really wanted more history of the events that lead up to the war, and of Lincoln's life and career. The book delivered on this. I was not in the mood to hear about the battles, so maybe later I'll return and finish. Lincoln's tactics of timing, and good humor were well illustrated. Suzanne Toren did an excellent job narrating. She wouldn't have been my first pick, and sometimes I thought her delivery a tad melodramatic, but concidering parts of the book were dry accounts of parties and shopping trips, she really did keep my attention.
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
I suppose the first question you’re asking is “Why did she give such a highly acclaimed book an average rating?” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s ‘Team of Rivals’ is a fantastic, detailed history of a crucial historical period from a fresh perspective, but it is hard to follow as an audio book. It was, in fact, so hard to follow, more than 12 hours into the audio recording, I had to stop and start over.
Historical figures were mentioned and set aside, only to appear hours later in the audio. I longed for an index to find the names and their places in the narrative.
However, because I have a busy life and spend a lot of time driving, the chances were good that I wouldn’t have had the time to actually read the book for quite some time. I was glad to be able to hear it, especially to bring a historical perspective to the current president and his cabinet.
The narration itself was fine, but the editing was a problem. There were frequently long pauses, and I found myself wondering if I was coming to a new chapter; had a call coming in on my iPhone, or if I’d disconnected my headphones. That wasn’t the case, but watch out for that distraction.
Part Time Soldier and Full Time Geek and Civil Servant... I love innovative thrillers and Science Fiction and Fact.
Find a different narrator
I barely made it through the beginning of the first few chapters of the first part. It is LONG and hard to follow this woman's voice.
Robotic, foreign, and seems mechanical at best, but so dry and has so many odd pacing and enunciations that I found myself drifting and not realizing I'd missed most of the last half hour I was listening to something else.
Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.
This is a fascinating account of a critical and nation defining moment in American History.
The abolition of slavery. This book details the lives of the men and women who played such a prominent role in this period. This is no dry academic look at history, Goodwin makes the period and the players come alive to make this a real page turner. Lincoln forged a team that liberated a nation from the contagion of slavery. He truly deserves his place as one of the most admired presidents of the United States.
After you listen to the book I recommend you see the film Lincoln and the extraordinary performance by Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln.
One of the most excellent biographies I have ever come across.
Abraham Lincoln is definitely a leader whose kind we desperately need today.
Choosing a female to narrate a book which is 90% about men and quotations from them is as questionable as it would be to choose a male to read "Little Women".
Though I was very familiar with Lincoln and the Civil War, I learned new things about Lincoln through finding out about Seward, Chase, and Stanton. Lincolns close relationship to Seward and their true loyalty to one another was touching. Chase comes across poorly, but Lincoln's patience with him is telling. Stanton is a bulwark. The story dragged a bit for me at times, but it was a very good listen.
Businessman, Technologist, Marketer. Loves to learn and enjoys books. Mostly nonfiction plus historic novels.
After reading all of Walter Isaacson's biographies, I was looking forward to learn about the life of Lincoln. Water has a unique gift in making a long story entertaining, useful, and engaging. This book just shows how hard it is to do it right.
Listening to Team of Rivals feels more like listening to a researcher that wanted to communicate all the knowledge they have on a subject, rather than walking you through a story, the interesting facts, and the nuggets of wisdom we should learn from it.
Honestly, I was unable to listen to the entire audiobook. This is not a book for me.
Teams of Rivals is a story of politics, unlike most books about Lincoln. However, Goodwin obviously worships at the Lincoln altar, and the book is rife with ‘Lincolnesque’ wisdom and stories. I personally felt a bit hammered with the fervor of the author and her personal admiration of Lincoln and his words; there is considerable repetition. That said, Team of Rivals is a terrific insight into Lincoln.
The book begins with the biographical detail of Lincoln’s cabinet members and progresses through his election, Presidency, the American Civil War, his assassination, and ends with the death of Mary Todd. The story does not linger on any single historical event. It is a compilation of the behaviors of Lincoln himself and his circle of cabinet members, family, and friends, primarily from a political view. Attitudes regarding preservation of the Union and slavery are the primary focus. The genius of Lincoln and his artful manipulation of the disparate personalities of the men surrounding the White House, including Civil War generals, is the backbone of Team of Rivals.
Understanding and appreciating the passions and goals of others, and using this knowledge to his advantage, was his genius … especially considering he ruffled no feathers in the process.
This book is the basis for the Spielberg movie, Lincoln. Cliché though it may be, “The book is better.” , applies. The full title of the book is actually: Team of Rivals - The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Over 41 hours of listening, the book is read by Suzanne Toren. As an audiobook listener, I was more focused on the history of the time and man, and wasn’t distracted by the reading … so she apparently does a good job :-).
Love every genre - read a book every 2 weeks or so- I mix between business books, classics, modern fiction, and biographies
Great balance between flaws and strengths. The depth of the man was well represented in the writing.
Honestly, early in the book when how he became the Nominee was described by choosing to be everyone's 2nd choice showed such genius
Too many to name
I think I was most moved when the words of the Gettysburg Address was described - the powerfulness of the short speech were so succinctly perfect. I had no idea it was that short and the culmination of all the things he discovered leading up to that point really helped me understand why its such a big part of history
Christian, middle-school teacher, horse lover and rider, grandmother, love America, hate getting old, pretty good cook.
I didn't see the movie, but thought this would be very dry. In fact, the story comes to life and I was engrossed in yet another Lincoln book (I read the Carl Sandburg volumes many years ago, plus other Lincoln biographies).
The political intrigue of his rivals (and their in depth, personal stories) and of course, Mary Todd Lincoln...he seemed to love the nut!
If I don't notice the reader, then I'm happy. She did an excellent job.
For those who are fascinated with Lincoln, but think they've read all they can stand on the man. This book breathes a fresh breath onto the historical facts of his presidency, his friends and enemies, the Civil War, and his family.