Masterful emotional intelligence
Impossible! This is a very lengthy tome. At times slow, especially in the beginning when the author is still developing the profile of the central characters, but worth reading if you have an interest in Lincoln, politics or political science, history, or just human influence. I have a new appreciation for the brilliance of our 16th President.
I love a good book...
Team of Rivals held my attention even though it was a long book. I really like history so it held my attention. I learned things about Lincoln I had not known before so I really enjoyed this book. Too bad the movie missed about 60% of this book.
It's difficult to find a perspective on the Civil War and Lincoln that hasn't already been exposed. However, Kearns Goodwin manages to do just that. It's the backstory that hasn't been told in one complete narrative. She stays remarkably on track by focusing on the players in the cabinet and Lincoln. There are also sub-characters she provides with remarkable interest - like Chase's daughter and the two secretary's to Lincoln. There are other small players who add to the story but Kearns Goodwin never strays from from the main thread. This book is a phenomenal listen.
My only criticism is for the reader. Toren, while fitting the narrative with a fine, strong, persuasive voice, at times is too precious with her pronunciation. The read is sometimes stilted and stiff seeming to try to give gravity to the story where her natural voice already accomplished the task. I don't think Lincoln would have tried to be so reverent.
It gave a real sense of what went on behind the scenes and even in the minds (thanks to their letters) of many of the players at the time.
She was able to capture the 'maleness' of the characters, and create appropriate tones to match the context within which each historical character spoke. At times it felt like I was watching a TV mini-series about actual events.
Not the first time. Having to listen to all of the stories behind each 'rival' was tedious at the first listen because I wanted to get to the great man immediately, but months later, coming back to the story I could appreciate the relevance and role each story played in the greater story about Lincoln's political and human genius.
I would consider reading another Kerns book after first previewing a free sample.
The performance was ok, the book was not.
I was frustrated. I was expecting an in depth description of Lincoln’s political genus, but what I got was a wordy and breathless description of Washington DC society, complete with descriptions of homes and dinner menus.
Don't you just love a great story well told?
Having seen the Hollywood film I was very curious to see the exact details documented in print and curious to find if any were changed or dramatized for entertainment purposes.
If you are similarly motivated and that is the sole purpose for getting this book you will be sorely disappointed. This is a very good book. However, nearly every dramatic detail which made the movie so compelling are NOT explained AT ALL in this book! To say the Spielberg film is "based" on this book is more than a bit of false advertising.
It's a GREAT book, that cannot be denied. It is amazingly well researched, brilliantly written, and beautifully narrated. It has amazing details on Lincoln's life and that of all of his staff. A reader will gain an understanding of Lincoln as person and not just a mythical historical figure. It is a good read if you really want to understand Lincoln and to learn far more than you could possibly want to know about his cabinet. Take the title seriously, this book is about the men in his cabinet and their entire careers as much as it is about Lincoln.
That said, it was intensely disappointing to listen to all that and then let the 13th amendment and any politics surrounding it go relatively unmentioned. When the subject finally comes up, late in the 5th file, the amendment's passage is presented as a fait accompli. None of the backroom politics which are shown in the recent movie are described. I finish not knowing which parts of the film are factual nor where the information for the screenplay was obtained. (certainly not from this book)
It's not the author's fault that they chose to imply a film was "based in part" (which part?) on her writing. Still, I must fault the publisher greatly for doing so and, in turn, setting up very precise expectations. The book is great as long as you don't expect it to have anything to do with the film. If you listen expecting to hear even half or a TENTH of what you saw.... then you will be similarly frustrated. (Stars off for misrepresentation on the part of the publisher and because the lives of the cabinet are not as interesting as Lincoln himself)
Not being familiar with the team of characters around Lincoln, the book does a great job of presenting them...which is also it's weak point. Editing could have been tried. There are simply 3, 4 or 5 volumes here.
Seperate books would have been better and was called for here.
The best part of this story was the way DKG was able to weave the best of ...oh who am I kidding here; I couldn't finish it. The performance ran me off a great story...
This can was simply too much to overcome. At the beginning of EVERY sentence DKG simply inhales so violently, it seems like each one is her last breath.
if you can somehow blcok out the inhalation drama at the beginning of every break, yes. If not, buy the book.
I for one, could not.
I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
I cried at the end of the book when Lincoln died. He had become a living, breathing person to me as a result of reading this incredible book. Last night, a friend of mine told me she had the same welling up of emotion. This book covers Lincoln's whole life, not just his brilliance in selecting his Cabinet, and the backgrounds for his Cabinet members and erstwhile rivals for the presidential nomination are complete and fascinating.
In A Team of Rivals, we get to know Lincoln as a father and husband as well as politician, decision maker, and strategist. He was brilliant and patient. The irony of his assassination by a mad Southerner is that Reconstruction overseen with Lincoln's forgiveness, common sense, and love of the Union would have made things so much less traumatic.
I could not give this book a higher recommendation.
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".
No...I spent the first 8 hours in a bored, agonized state waiting for the narrative to get better, as the ratings for this book are really high. However, between the finite details that were irrelevant and Ms. Toren's voice (she sounds like an IVR response prompt - for 8 hours), I couldn't handle it and moved to the 3rd volume to see if the story got better. It did not and I'm no longer listening to the book.
As with the other evaluators opinions, I feel the narrator of a story predominantly about an all-male cast should be a male voice. Ms. Toren's voice was intolerable after the first several hours.
The minutiae of detail about everything....readings from journals that described everything. When used properly it helps to paint a vivid and interesting picture of the times. When overused it becomes boring, annoying and uninteresting.
I'd like my credit back on this one....absolutely no value associated with this audio book.