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.
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"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)
I loved this book. Not only was it masterfully written and narrated, it inspired me to be a better person. This should be a must for all those who study and aspire to leadership.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love books!
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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