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)
This story is more relevant now than ever, with our country once again divided along lines that seem irreconcilable. Lincoln proved that one good man can make a difference, one honest man can change history. This is the rest of the story we didn't hear in school, the man who turned failure into victory, adversaries into allies, and guided a country back from the brink of ruin. You won't be disappointed that you spent the hours taking in this great book.
This is by far the longest audio book I have completed, but it was well worth every minute (though I did listen at 1.5 speed). I am by no means either highly interested in politics or history but was fascinated by them both in this incredible portrayal of Lincoln.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I had this book on my shelf for a long time, and couldn't make a dent in it. Audiobooks are a different story, though, and audible saw me through.
It's a fascinating story, and I learned a lot about leadership, politics, and history.
The book probably could have used a good editor, but the subject matter intrigued me. I would bet that most people would find it very tedious at parts, but I didn't, so my review reflects that.
Highly recommend everyone to read this masterpiece. The audiobook version was dreary in the beginning but so addictive once you get used to the narration. I am getting a physical version of the book for my collection.
Impressively researched. The characters really came to life for me. Sometimes though the amount of detail felt unnecessary and annoying. The narrator was formal, perhaps a bit stiff, but for me this fit the feel of the story and was not distracting. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book.
I just recommend this book to everyone and anyone wanting to go back and remember a part of history. This book is long, but as I said, very much worth the investment of time.
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