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)
I saw that this listen was 40+ hours and almost didn't download it, I'm glad I changed my mind! I worked in politics for many years and Lincoln has always been an inspiring figure for me. I already knew much of his history but this read provided so much more with the rich interactions of those closest to him. I found myself looking up photos as I listened to better form a picture of who these figures were. I was left feeling even more inspired than ever by Lincoln and quite unexpectedly found several new heroes in his cabinet members.
Let me start by saying I quit listening to this book. Twice. Not because of the content, but my attention span struggled with how in depth this book is. I'm sure it's completely fine in paperback, but the audio version had me losing patience early on.
With that said, I'm so glad I picked this up again. Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest leaders in the history of man. His genius is evident in the Herculean decisions he was confronted with on a regular basis- and how he was able to look at the challenges he faced as a humanitarian first.
The content is on point, the message is inspiring, and the story is an emotional roller coaster. I will be recommending this book to those interested in politics, history, and leadership.
long but worth it. she captures the tensions, emotions, and strong bonds of his team as well as the context for Lincoln 's advance. in politics. i would listen to it again even I f it took me months to complete again.
Goodwin provides a very detailed history of Abraham Lincoln's political genius throughout his life. While this story bogs down in the detail once in a while, it was overall a very enjoyable journey through his life and times.
Godwin is so committed to her topic- the parallel biographies of Lincoln and those men who rose to preeminence through the same turbulent time period- the reader is kept riveted from person to person, story to story. Although the reader doesn't do " voices", she speaks so clearly has enough inflection to not be monotonous.
Lincoln , as portrayed by Goodwin really was a giant among men-self-effacing,street-smart, yet compassionate and forgiving. I was impressed how Lincoln was able to win many hearts through his honesty and willingness not to assess blame, malign, or back-bite his peers or subordinates- truly knightly virtues in this day and age. It must have impressed the author as well because it is a point she makes often as she weaves Lincoln's story with others throughout his lifetime.
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