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.
So detailed that I lost interest. Kept coming back to try again, but each time only got interesting info every 30 minutes.
Only got to Volume 2 and couldn't hang on any longer.
Anyone speaking for tens of hours will become distracting.
All the peripherals.
Make a one volume version for those of us who are less historically fervent.
It made me believe I was living those times and places. But not to say anything about the great narration, which is the source of the wonder of those times, would be misleading.
Team of Rivals is one of the best books I have ever listened to. So well written, You Laugh, you cry, you anger; you sadden, you appreciate, you yell at these enlightening persons, you want to kill. The emotions Team of Rivals grabs from you are intensely real.
You can not do it, but if you could you bet.
To not listen to this book because you believe it to be tooo many hours, is a big mistake.
I believe some of the persons looking forward to running for President should definitely listen to it.
I enjoyed the book quite a bit and definitely learned a lot about Lincoln I did not know. My only issue was the length considering I usually listen for only 30 minutes at a time. Of course I knew that going in...
I would still highly recommend the book. Lots of lessons for anyone. I have a new appreciate for Lincoln.
From the first sentence this book captivates; with the detailed history of Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet. It is difficult to understand how relevant to this day the politics and tactics of the great politician and statesman Lincoln are.
Any politician should read it and will benefit. Any history lover ought read it.
Lincoln possessed a greatness of moral, of dealing with people, and above all a greatness of character.
I loved this book and recommend listening to it through audiobook, as I did, every morning while commuting and at the treadmill. The book is as long as 'war and peace' and if you're busy with your career as I am, it might be difficult to finish if you attempt to read instead of listen through audiobook.