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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln | [Doris Kearns Goodwin]

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jack Baton Rouge, LA, United States 01-21-13
    Jack Baton Rouge, LA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Interesting historical drama"
    What made the experience of listening to Team of Rivals the most enjoyable?

    The author made a good story out of what could have been a dry history lesson.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Team of Rivals?

    Discriptions of the toll that events took on Lincoln.


    What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration by a mature woman led credability to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul NORTHPORT, NY, United States 01-20-13
    Paul NORTHPORT, NY, United States 01-20-13 Member Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Ponderous"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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?


    Would you be willing to try another book from Doris Kearns Goodwin? Why or why not?

    Perhaps. Need to take a break for a while.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Suzanne Toren’s performances?

    I'd always give he narrator a second chance.


    Was Team of Rivals worth the listening time?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-13
    Ed Toronto, Ontario, Canada 01-19-13
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    10
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    "Absolutely Riveting!"
    Where does Team of Rivals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LoveFromBothSides LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-15-13
    LoveFromBothSides LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-15-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Every Citizen Would Benefit By Listening to This!"

    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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grey Eyes Chicago, IL 01-15-13
    Grey Eyes Chicago, IL 01-15-13
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    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Dense, but well worth it"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Lee 01-07-13
    James Lee 01-07-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "long, detailed, engrossing"
    What did you love best about Team of Rivals?

    puts you back into the 19th century and the slave debate


    What other book might you compare Team of Rivals to and why?

    War and Peace. they are both long and historical


    What does Suzanne Toren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    good dramatic performance


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    puts you into the heartbreak of the civil war


    Any additional comments?

    buy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Elk Grove, CA, United States 01-02-13
    Douglas Elk Grove, CA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Vital history of our nation in a time of crisis"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Seattle, WA USA 01-02-13
    Joseph Seattle, WA USA 01-02-13 Member Since 2010

    Joe

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    "Very relevant to what we face as a nation today"
    Would you listen to Team of Rivals again? Why?

    I would lsten to this again to pick up facts and anecdotes.


    What other book might you compare Team of Rivals to and why?

    Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power


    Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A comprehensive history of the life of Lincoln


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike New Cumberland, PA, United States 12-30-12
    Mike New Cumberland, PA, United States 12-30-12 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    31
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    "Appreciating Greatness"

    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[1] see the movie [2]listen to the audible book[3]then 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......
    [Suzanne Toren].
    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................
    [1] Things haven't changed very much.
    [2] The importance of good leadership
    ...........and most important.................
    [3]everyday citizens need to be both informed and involved in their government or things can and will get worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Straub Fairfax, VA United States 12-24-12
    Edward Straub Fairfax, VA United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Fascinating behind-the-scenes insight"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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