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Team of Rivals Audiobook

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through. This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

Listen to an interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin on The Bob Edwards Show.

©2005 Blithedale Productions, Inc.; (P)2005 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

  • 2006 Quill Award Nominee
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Biography or Autobiography, 2005

"The knowledge gained here about these three significant figures who well attended Lincoln gain for the reader an even keener appreciation of the rare individual that he was." (Publishers Weekly)
"An elegant, incisive study of Lincoln and leading members of his cabinet that will appeal to experts as well as to those whose knowledge of Lincoln is an amalgam of high-school history and popular mythology." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2109 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ken Lafayette, IN, USA 03-05-06
    Ken Lafayette, IN, USA 03-05-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lincoln From His Rivals Perspetive"

    Very interesting insight into Lincoln from the perspective of his rivals. Both from what they wrote and from Lincoln's writing and actions in engaging them in his cabinent. A very interesting approach to gain a better understanding of mind of this great President.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 03-02-06
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 03-02-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Read"

    Partisan politics is nothing new. Well worth the purchase, this book provides the political insight to Lincoln's winning the Republican ticket for the 1860 presidential election and how the power of personality brought together an administration that met the test of a lifetime. Couldn't have picked a better narrator. Richard Thomas was the perfect choice for depicting the times and politics of Abraham Lincoln.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Newington, CT, United States 12-27-05
    Dan Newington, CT, United States 12-27-05
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    "Good historical book"

    The author does a great job of researching in-depth detail into Lincoln and those who he surrounded himself with. While strong with new information in the first half of the book, the second half contains information that an avid Lincoln fan already has read several times. A good "listen" nonetheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Elmhurst, IL, USA 12-20-05
    Carl Elmhurst, IL, USA 12-20-05
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    "Great man"

    I had little knowledge of Lincoln except the little I remembered from school, and this book really filled that out nicely. Also, I learned about some other important men in our history. The most important lesson from this book is how incredibly right Lincoln was for this time in history; and how much we lost through his death. His focus on integrity and fairness should be an example for all modern leaders.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-11-08
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 06-11-08 Member Since 2015

    I love books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a good listen"

    How can you not like a good story about Abe Lincoln. He may have been the greatest American of all time. Maybe he was put on this earth to be the one that led to the end of slavery in the USA. I asked my wife how many slaves she thought there were in the USA in 1860, she said 10000. When I told her 4,000,000 she was flabbergasted, that was a lot. America had to go through this war to become the nation we are today and honest Abe was the right man at the right time to do it.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Navasota, TX, USA 12-17-08
    Becky Navasota, TX, USA 12-17-08
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    "History comes alive in this excellent work"

    In this book, the characters of Lincoln and his cabinet are fully revealed through the writings and observations of those who knew them best. The characters almost jump off the page and the events are described in such detail as to have the listener wanting more. Richard Thomas does a great job of narrating. I am recommending this book to everyone.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Boulder, CO, USA 04-10-10
    Rick Boulder, CO, USA 04-10-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Unexceptional"

    This is a pretty banal history of Lincoln during the Civil War. I was interested in it because Hillary Clinton and President Obama are both reported to have both read and liked it. (And there are some really interesting parallels between Lincoln/Seward and Obama/Clinton.)

    But there is apparently not enough history out there about the relationships in Lincoln's cabinet to flesh out Goodwin's theme. "Team of Rivals" is really a new marketing angle for the same old stuff.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy 02-10-09
    Cathy 02-10-09 Member Since 2002
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    "It's a History Mr. Obama Understands"

    I listened to this book and enjoyed it so much I read it on paper. I'm drawn to this era of American history, and love learning about the people who made the history, not just the facts of what happened. Ms. Goodwin came through with a non-fiction description of Abraham Lincoln's days before the war on up to his death. I normally enjoy fiction, but this was so well written, paced, and joined together it could have been fictional. I understand Mr. Obama is a fan of drawing together diverse opinions in much the same way Mr. Lincoln triumphed with his cabinet, the "team of rivals."

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Camper Conroe TX 05-02-07
    Happy Camper Conroe TX 05-02-07 Listener Since 2006

    Author,Professional Speaker

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    "Excellent history"

    Ms. Goodwin's ability to tell a compelling historical story in a contemporary context is clearly evident in this relevant rendering of the Lincoln mystique.
    DKG makes Lincoln come alive and illuminates the intricacies and subtle nuances of his psyche that remind of his humanity and his near divinity.
    "John Boy"'s recognizable voice enhances the narrative and offers the comfort of familiarity.
    I kept waiting for him to recite his iconic "Good Night Grandpa" line from the Waltons.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Small GILBERT, AZ, US 08-26-06
    Chad Small GILBERT, AZ, US 08-26-06 Listener Since 2004
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    "Listen to this book!"

    This book is amazing. I loved its depth and pace. I felt like I was there in Lincolns time and presence. The narration was well done and I was amazed at how little I new about Lincoln. At the end of this listening I felt as if I had been robbed by my educators. They never expressed or discussed the greatness that was Lincoln.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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