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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

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Geoff DeSena Fort Collins, CO, USA 02-04-13
    Geoff DeSena Fort Collins, CO, USA 02-04-13
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    "In depth look into the life our greatest president"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Team of Rivals to be better than the print version?

    Although the audiobook is considerably more convenient, I still prefer to have the actual text to refer back to if I miss something. However, Goodwin does a very nice job of reminding the reader who the characters are.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Suzanne Toren?

    No. Her annunciation is great, but after 40 hours of the same tone, it gets a bit old.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt PORTALES, NM, United States 02-01-13
    Matt PORTALES, NM, United States 02-01-13
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    1
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    "FANTASTIC BOOK!!!! A must!!!!"
    What did you love best about Team of Rivals?

    It gives you the entire picture of what Abraham Lincoln did as a politician. More importantly who he truly was as a man.


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

    How content and happy he was at the very end of his life. What a great way to live before you die.


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

    I have not... yet.


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

    "He was more than a man. He was... Abraham Lincoln."


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Chisholm 01-31-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting story telling,"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very entertaining and well read


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

    cry, so tragic, so crazy and so telling of the random power of guns to change history for the worse.


    Any additional comments?

    some mispronunciation, i.e. carotid and stirrup

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Canada 01-30-13
    Amazon Customer Canada 01-30-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    1
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    "Fascinating history, well read."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Team of Rivals to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but the audio edition was great for long car rides.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lincoln, because of his honesty, integrity and shrewd insight into the character of others.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    ?


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

    I found it fascinating.


    Any additional comments?

    Great history and insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Oregon 01-25-13
    Kindle Customer Oregon 01-25-13 Member Since 2011

    Tonja

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    19
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    "And I thought I did not appreciate history"
    Where does Team of Rivals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of my favorites listens thus far with audible. I found it captivating from beginning to end. Even though I clearly knew much of the outcome, I cried like a baby through parts of this book as it read like a story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    My favorite attribute of this book was its ability to create a storylike setting that made sense to me as a average person accustomed to reading fiction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikolai Slavov Cambridge, MA, USA 01-24-13
    Nikolai Slavov Cambridge, MA, USA 01-24-13 Member Since 2004
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    4
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    3
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    "Uncritical and poorly substantiated"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A more critical and realistic analysis of the facts could have improved this book. Often the expressed claims are unsubstantiated to the point that if somebody voices the counter claim, there is nothing in the presented facts to distinguish which claim is correct.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Suzanne Toren?

    The choice of narrator is very subjective; I personally did not like Suzanne as narrator for this book


    Any additional comments?

    I have always had very critical opinion toward the efforts to defunct some of the most influential leader, such as G. Washington. After listening to this book, however, I begin to understand how an over zealous glorification based on epithets and not facts can trigger a desire for a more critical approach to analyzing historical facts.


    I would not recommend this book for critical thinkers. It might be a good book for people who want to hear about a great idealized hero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan 01-23-13
    dan 01-23-13

    t p prince esquire international-- Switzerland / USA --Author publisher of adult and children's literature.

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    "excellent rendering of the facts and history"

    If you want to know and understand the complexities of the times of the civil war and abolition of slavery youi will not find a better written and explicit acccount than this one. Though it is sometimes slanted a bit more to the femist point of view of some of the female charachters, cloths and white house decorations and parties ect. It is a full and noble account of how times change but don't change. Politics is a complicated business and one can see how our times reflect the same feelings but for differrent subjects like women's rights and abortion. Susan Toren was steady and easy to listen too, even over such a long account.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Laval, QC, Canada 01-23-13
    John Laval, QC, Canada 01-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Last 2/3 of the book were GREAT!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes and no. The first 12 - 13 hours were agony. There was little about Lincoln in these pages. Rather, it was all about the men who were to one day be in his cabinet: William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edward Bates, and Montgomery Blair - the histories of their families, where they grew up, their early childhoods, the various schools they attended, their childhood pastimes, their various courtships, their marriages, their early careers, triumphs, disappointments, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam. Little was written about Lincoln's early life because not very much is known. He didn't like to speak of it in any detail. Real details about him don't begin until he runs for office against Stephen Douglas.

    After, that VERY LONG painful part, the life and the struggles of his presidency are fascinating - including the politics surrounding his relationship with his cabinet and their relationships with each other.


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

    Theodore Rex (a biography of Theodore Roosevelt). Both are exhaustive, systematic treatments of these fascinating super-men's lives.


    What aspect of Suzanne Toren’s performance would you have changed?

    I will echo what another reviewer has said: why on earth have a WOMAN read a story that is almost exclusively about MEN?? It is truly ludicrous as she assumes a low, husky voice when reading the many quotations of the male characters. Also, 42 hours of this rather school-ma'rm-ish, severe voice is a trying experience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Good Lord, no! Those first 12-13 hours were agonizing. Everyday, I swore I was going to rate the book with one star and get my Audible credits back!


    Any additional comments?

    I suppose for the true history buff, the first 12-13 hours could be somewhat interesting because it does show, in a long, round-about way, how the lives and characters of his cabinet influenced Lincoln's presidency and the Civil War. But still, if Lincoln is your main focus - as it was mine - those first 12 - 13 hours will require much stamina!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Baton Rouge, LA, United States 01-21-13
    Jack Baton Rouge, LA, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2010
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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
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    2
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    "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
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