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 was the result of a character that had been forged by life experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because hepossessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
This capacity enabled President Lincoln to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to preserve the Union and win the war.
©2006 Doris Kearns Goodwin (P)2011 Simon & Schuster
"An elegant, incisive study....Goodwin has brilliantly described how Lincoln forged a team that preserved a nation and freed America from the curse of slavery." (James M. McPherson, The New York Times Book Review)
"Goodwin's narrative abilities...are on full display here, and she does an enthralling job of dramatizing...crucial moments in Lincoln's life....A portrait of Lincoln as a virtuosic politician and managerial genius." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
"Splendid, beautifully written....Goodwin has brilliantly woven scores of contemporary accounts...into a fluid narrative....This is the most richly detailed account of the Civil War presidency to appear in many years." (John Rhodehamel, Los Angeles Times)
Epic journey through the life and times of Old Abe. I was enthralled with this multi-faceted portrait of this man of the ages. The book weaves through the lives, writings, thoughts and perceptions held of Lincoln by his rivals, contemporaries, their wives, daughters and civil rights leaders fighting for liberty and justice. The political journey and transformation is riveting; one wades through the civil discourse, finally appreciating the epic historical implications of specific decisions and actions... what a masterful navigation of Lincoln's brilliance and humanity.
Too many to depict, but of the personal tragedies endured by Lincoln and Mary, of Chase among others... anytime children come into the scene it impacted me all the more
She's a consistent reader - great overall but there are about 8 words that she literally does not know how to pronounce. If there are indeed editors who listen or help with engineering, this should have been caught and re-recorded. It just sounds bizarre and given the elocution of our subjects, all the more critical that the reader be massively endowed with faultless English.
Revel in this masterful navigation of Lincoln's brilliance and humanity!
I will also say this... this will easily take 100 odd hours to read, it's mammoth. But we could all do with an infusion of some seriously eloquent English. I yearn for the days of letter writing, no texting and emoticons but just good old fashioned reading, writing, elocution, grammar and beauty in thinking before speaking!
I would give a qualified recommendation for this book.
I almost gave up on this title because of the poor narrative performance. Annoying inflections when attempting to speak as any of the characters. Mispronunciations surprising. I finally sped up playback which helped noticeably.
The Gettysburg address. Hearing Ms. Toren read it in its entirety moved me to tears.
She has a very clear voice and enunciates very well. It was always obvious when she was quoting from a document or letter from her changes in inflection, and while she gave a slightly different voice to each person, she didn't overdue the characterization. She really let the history come through by not over-performing.
Lincoln's death, especially the effect it had on the powerful and willful men with whom he had surrounded himself. I was surprised at how emotional I became at the author's description - it's not like I didn't know what was going to happen, after all; still, she gave it an emotional resonance I hadn't expected.
We all know that Lincoln was a great president. This book tells us why he was great, and how his greatness was expressed in his words and actions. The development of grudging respect for him among his former rivals, growing into affection and finally love was a hard-won thing, and the author does a wonderful job of taking us through each man's journey. Lincoln is viewed through as many lenses as there are members of his cabinet, and we get a very well-developed picture of him.
Some stories inspire you to think bigger thoughts then normally possible. This book is that inspiration. I can't imagine another man leading our nation through Civil War. But not on his own. His team of hard right and hard left cabinet members is really not different than today's men. But Lincoln was a team builder, not a dictator. A much easier course would be to enlist "yes" men. Lincoln knew the country needed more, much more. I learned a lot from this book. Awesome.
The Bible. The stories of triumph are coupled with those of failure. But that is life. And how you deal with it his what matters most.
Seward being saved from a mortal wound due to the jaw brace worn from his earlier carriage accident. Without the accident, the knife blow would have ended it all then and there.
"Now he belongs to the ages" - Edward Stanton
The author breathes life into this time period and its characters. Very interesting.
Yes. An unknown story of his rivals and supporters employed in his administration.
The background of all the rivals and supporters, family in Lincoln's administration.
Secretary of State
Epilogue, or review of the effect on all participant's in Lincoln's life and administration after his death.
I don't get the reviews for this book. The narrator is downright horrible. Please believe the other reviews about how unemotional and annoying her reading style is. The story moves at a snail's space by dwelling on meaningless details. The narrator compounds this problem with her monotone voice. I stopped listening after 10 hours, because I lost all interest in a subject I find fascinating. If you download this book, good luck getting through it.
I am a retired high school computer teacher. After years of tech reading, I have given up reading for listening while I woodworking.
The intertwining perspective of all of the people involved gave a wonderfully entertaining yet insightful view of the attitudes of the times.
To discover the Lincoln is the only sitting president to actively take part in and be in danger during a war while he was in office..
Yes. It is a very lengthy account with a lot of information to grasp. I'm sure I would pick up things I missed the first time around.
I found the lives of Kate Chase and her father, Salmon P. Chase particularly interesting.
This book has inspired me to learn a little more about the life of Jefferson Davis, and reminded me of why we still love Lincoln as we do.
The book is a magnificent history of the lives of the men who comprised Lincoln's cabinet. Each becomes unique and vibrant as a result of the graceful and insightful writing and the wonderful performance.
One of the minor characters, Kate Chase, became an intriguing presence in the book; she was a mesmerizing beauty with a difficult life.
The book is very long - and each pages contains many revelations - but it is far too long to tackle in a single sitting!
Goodwin proves that detailed history and methodical research can make for a fantastic read. And kudos to the exceptional performance!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
After watching "Lincoln" a few years ago, I wasn't too impress with the movie. I remember falling asleep for most of it because there was too much dialogue and not enough action. It wasn't the movie that I was expecting. I haven't done much reading on our 16th President and the Civil War other then in school.
"Team of Rivals" was suggested to me because I wanted a longer read. The hours in this book went by quickly. I really thought that I would have a hard time getting into the materials, and would be spending weeks at trying to get to the last minute, but I would never had thought that Lincoln's story would be interesting and sad at the same time. I've read my fair share of great figures in our history, but I never went in depth of Abraham Lincoln's life and his power.
Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote this book with vast information, and her timeline of the President's life just flows with every spoken word. I have found my next favorite historian, second to David McCullough. Her style of writing is passive, but her flow of storytelling and introducing new detail facts are appropriate to each chapter.
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