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)
The author made a good story out of what could have been a dry history lesson.
Discriptions of the toll that events took on Lincoln.
The narration by a mature woman led credability to the story.
Book is mired in detail that adds little to the story. How many times do I have to be told that Kate Chase is beautiful? I got the message the first 10 times. Although the book offers great insight as to Lincoln the man, it is littered with tiny details of little interest. Was Ms. Kearns being paid by the word?
Perhaps. Need to take a break for a while.
I'd always give he narrator a second chance.
This is a terrific book. The idea to see Lincoln through the eyes of his contemporaries is a great idea. It seems, to me, a fair and balanced book. The author portrays Lincoln, complete with faults, and his brilliance in a clear manner. It also brings to life those around Lincoln and in their lives and eventual grief, the book becomes a welcome addition to great books about this great leader!
William H. Seward from Auburn, NY. Lincoln's Secretary of State. The author weaves together a wonderful narrative of such a great man from the various sources available.
Doris Kearns Goodwin knows politics from the inside. She was a real "insider" during her White House internship with LBJ. Because of that, her understanding of how the personalities of the men and women of the tumultuous years before and during the Civil War affected, influenced what might have happened. Even though you know the outcome, the book will surprise you. "Lincoln," the movie is based on a snippet of this stunning book. Please send your congressperson a copy!
This book is not for everyone. For those desiring only a cursory look at Lincoln's more famous moments, this book will feel like a burden with so much detail in between major events.
However, for those who really want to get into the mutli-faceted complexity that was Lincoln's genius, this book is the best I have encountered. Chock full of rich subtlety and supported throughout with first hand sources, I strongly recommend this book to anyone craving a long journey unwrapping lawyers and discovering the complex relationships that together constituted our greatest American hero.
puts you back into the 19th century and the slave debate
War and Peace. they are both long and historical
good dramatic performance
puts you into the heartbreak of the civil war
Lincoln was a real man with real problems, strengths, weaknesses and motivations. Though I've known what happened during Lincoln's time, Dorris Kearns Goodwin's book has helped me understand why. Lincoln's words and actions now have a context in which they can be interpreted. I wish all history could be illuminated this way.
I would lsten to this again to pick up facts and anecdotes.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
A comprehensive history of the life of Lincoln
Say something about yourself!
If you think of LINCOLN as a 10 foot story line,the movie is like someone snipped off about two feet and put it on the screen.So as not to be disappointed I generally prefer to see a movie version first.Anybody who has seen and read both will not be disappointed no matter what order they do it in.Personally I think you should see the movie listen to the audible bookthen see the movie again.
WOW !! You really get an appreciation for the greatness of Lincoln,the greatness of the men [with all their very human foibles] that helped him run the country and the greatness of Lincoln's ability to get the most out of great men.
The slices of the book depicted in the movie are great actors' performances of great men doing great things for our country.The movie SHOWS you what the book TELLS you.
Both stand on their own and do not disappoint.
The book by Doris Kearns Goodwin is appropriately narrated by another woman......
While I wouldn't precisely call LINCOLN .....The Civil War from a woman's perspective....much of it's charm and fascination lies in the "story behind the story" stuff.
The movie will leave you hungry for more.The book explodes with more.
Opening with the day of the "Prairie Lawyer's"nomination Goodwin gives us a very interesting flashback biography of Lincoln and each of his main rivals for the nomination using these biographies to paint a picture of the times,passions and issues of the day.
Then the nomination...........then it REALLY gets interesting.
As and avid history buff I thought I knew a lot about the Civil War.As it turns out I do know a lot. But what I mainly know is about things like The battles of Antietam,The Wilderness,
Bull Run,Gettysburg,Vicksburg and men like Robert E. Lee,Grant,Sherman,Pickett
Stonewall Jackson, etc.
The best analogy I can make is when my wife and I meet another couple,afterwards I can probably tell what the guy does for a living and his favorite sports teams.......
My wife will know how many kids,grandkids ,their ages and names,how many times they've each been married,why they divorced and a host of family problems from drinking to
autism..........AND..... the other wife knows similar things about us.
Now as a man I admit I like hearing about this stuff,I just don't KNOW any of it.
Well in Lincoln,Goodwin gives you this stuff in spades !! Nobody is a BAD person,they are just people with both good and bad traits[Like Us].Indeed ,that's exactly the way Abraham Lincoln viewed people.What's great about this book is that you get all this while getting a masterful depiction of the what,where, who and why of what it was like during and after the rise to prominence of Abraham Lincoln.
One other observation is that..... when you hear and see all the political denunciations, wrangling,backbiting,grudging compromises,incompetence and corruption back then.... you realize................
 Things haven't changed very much.
 The importance of good leadership
...........and most important.................
everyday citizens need to be both informed and involved in their government or things can and will get worse.
The movie "Lincoln" doesn't compare to this book. Even though the movie was ostensibly based on 'Team of Rivals', the book is much more insightful and broader in its portrayal and analysis of Lincoln's "political genius." Kearns also captures the mindsets and motivations of Lincoln's rivals for the 1860 Republican nomination with incredible detail bringing the story to life. Excellent book.
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