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 am a retired high school computer teacher. After years of tech reading, I have given up reading for listening while I woodworking.
The intertwining perspective of all of the people involved gave a wonderfully entertaining yet insightful view of the attitudes of the times.
To discover the Lincoln is the only sitting president to actively take part in and be in danger during a war while he was in office..
Yes. It is a very lengthy account with a lot of information to grasp. I'm sure I would pick up things I missed the first time around.
I found the lives of Kate Chase and her father, Salmon P. Chase particularly interesting.
This book has inspired me to learn a little more about the life of Jefferson Davis, and reminded me of why we still love Lincoln as we do.
The book is a magnificent history of the lives of the men who comprised Lincoln's cabinet. Each becomes unique and vibrant as a result of the graceful and insightful writing and the wonderful performance.
One of the minor characters, Kate Chase, became an intriguing presence in the book; she was a mesmerizing beauty with a difficult life.
The book is very long - and each pages contains many revelations - but it is far too long to tackle in a single sitting!
Goodwin proves that detailed history and methodical research can make for a fantastic read. And kudos to the exceptional performance!
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
After watching "Lincoln" a few years ago, I wasn't too impress with the movie. I remember falling asleep for most of it because there was too much dialogue and not enough action. It wasn't the movie that I was expecting. I haven't done much reading on our 16th President and the Civil War other then in school.
"Team of Rivals" was suggested to me because I wanted a longer read. The hours in this book went by quickly. I really thought that I would have a hard time getting into the materials, and would be spending weeks at trying to get to the last minute, but I would never had thought that Lincoln's story would be interesting and sad at the same time. I've read my fair share of great figures in our history, but I never went in depth of Abraham Lincoln's life and his power.
Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote this book with vast information, and her timeline of the President's life just flows with every spoken word. I have found my next favorite historian, second to David McCullough. Her style of writing is passive, but her flow of storytelling and introducing new detail facts are appropriate to each chapter.
This very long book had a lot of great insight into the character of A. Lincoln. At times I felt a sense of "Deja Vu" as the book tended to repeat some information. Also, I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard "melancholy". If the book wasn't 700 hrs long I'd suggest a drinking game where you have to drink every time you hear "melancholy". Ugh...
Also, I had to listen to this book on 1.5x speed - thank God for that feature. Many times the audio book seemed to have long silent gaps but at 1.5x times it sounded ok.
It's THE best book I've listened to so far.
The different perspectives that were all brought together to describe this one man.
n/a - at first she kind of got on my nerves (I was actually expecting a man)...but after a bit she was clearly a natural for this reading.
yes....but it is WAY too long for that...
I've listened to it twice already and both times I've learned something new.
This book simultaneously brings us closer to the minds of these historical figures while also showing us how, in some cases, we cannot truly put ourselves in their place.
Having read one of the worshipful books about Lincoln some years ago, in which many of his high-handed and insensitive [if clever] responses to people in need were chronicled, I am not a wholehearted Lincoln fan.
Neither am I a Civil War enthusiast.
Nonetheless, Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is turning out to be the best and most profound addition to my knowledge and perspective as I enter my sixties.
I tend to focus on the almost cliché "big picture", and find that Doris Kearns Goodwin maintains a consistent perspective throughout the work. She tells us enough about Lincoln's cabinet members to let us see them as complete (if sometimes unlikeable) human beings, without devolving into a set of mini-biographies.
She also successfully avoids letting the book be about The Civil War itself, instead focusing on the day to day happenings around Lincoln and his cabinet. If anything, I find myself wanting to hear a bit more about the ebb and flow of the war, and this is how things should be.
At the outset I hoped to learn more about General McClellan, as I knew something about the troubles he caused for President Lincoln. Team of Rivals more than satisfies this initial curiosity. And though McClellan was not part of Lincoln's cabinet, I find myself wanting to know more about how such a blissfully self-unaware personality came to be.
I need my sleep - no way for me to listen to 40+ hours in one sitting ;)
Occasional glaring mispronunciations (for example PREE-scient for prescient and conSUMMate for consummate) introduce noticeable distractions from the substance of the book itself.
I am listening to this book on a 2012 Chevrolet Volt, and there are occasional glitches in the playback. I have no way of knowing whether these are inherent in the down-loaded audible.com files, the technology transfer into my vehicle or the playback, but they are generally limited to short duration bursts of noise.
This book really makes it clear why Lincoln was such a great leader. His ability to turn his rivals into his advisors made him and the country stronger. To be honest, I had started out reading the book but found it a little dense. The narration was quite good and really drew me in. There was so much about Lincoln, the war, and the country that I did not know, and Doris Kearns Goodwin really brought it all to life.
I had wanted to listen to this for years, but I found my mind wandering over and over while it was playing. I had to back up and listen to parts again. I think the fault was with the narrator. Having a woman narrator detracted greatly. Also, she just didn't have much "life" about her.
I probably should have know but this book talks little about licoln and a lot about polic=tics at the time just not my thing really.
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