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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

4.5 (1736 )
5 star
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4.4 (1463 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    JSP 12-21-12
    JSP 12-21-12 Member Since 2012

    Part Time Soldier and Full Time Geek and Civil Servant... I love innovative thrillers and Science Fiction and Fact.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "Robotic and Foreign"
    What would have made Team of Rivals better?

    Find a different narrator


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I barely made it through the beginning of the first few chapters of the first part. It is LONG and hard to follow this woman's voice.


    What didn’t you like about Suzanne Toren’s performance?

    Robotic, foreign, and seems mechanical at best, but so dry and has so many odd pacing and enunciations that I found myself drifting and not realizing I'd missed most of the last half hour I was listening to something else.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irene 06-18-14
    Irene 06-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent book; narrator detracted from it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    great majority of characters, including the subject, are male - the female narrator was probably chosen because the author is female - but her attempt to mimic a male voice when quoting something was painfully awful. should have had a male narrator - effective telling of the story is more important than matching the voice with the author!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    all


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    should have been a male voice. I disliked her attempted mimicry of a male voice when quoting something a character said.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Doris Kearns Goodwin’s life?

    this book was not about Doris Goodwin's life!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C 08-31-13
    C 08-31-13

    Little Miss

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprising Suspense"

    I was surprised by the way this book pulled me in so quickly. The author's writing style made events suspenseful even though I knew from history what was going to happen. She built up the odds against Abraham so that you wondered how he accomplished what he did. You'll also learn a lot about his character and his contemporary's characters. The narrator did a fine job. With such a long book, it is important that the narrator's voice be expressive and easy to listen to and this narrator accomplished this with ease. Abraham Lincoln has become one of my heros as a result of this book. Beautifully done.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Lindenwold, NJ, United States 07-01-13
    Daniel Lindenwold, NJ, United States 07-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "19th Century's greatest man"
    Any additional comments?

    Deep, powerful, concise, and containing some excruciating detail of events during Lincoln's presidency, this masterpiece by Goodwin is more of an education than anything else. Upon completion, it is hard to believe that such a man existed.
    The stories portrayed in this reading give are very well chosen and credit must be given for the plethora of vantage points considered. Well deserving of the Pulitzer!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany FENTON, MI, United States 03-05-13
    Tiffany FENTON, MI, United States 03-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
    3
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    "Bad choice for Narrator"
    What didn’t you like about Suzanne Toren’s performance?

    Lovely voice, but not the right choice for this book.


    Any additional comments?

    The abridged version of this audiobook has a wonderful narrator and the story is fantastic. Very disappointed a different narrator was chosen for the unabridged version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max Round Rock, TX, United States 01-26-13
    Max Round Rock, TX, United States 01-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Agonizing"
    Would you try another book from Doris Kearns Goodwin and/or Suzanne Toren?

    No...I spent the first 8 hours in a bored, agonized state waiting for the narrative to get better, as the ratings for this book are really high. However, between the finite details that were irrelevant and Ms. Toren's voice (she sounds like an IVR response prompt - for 8 hours), I couldn't handle it and moved to the 3rd volume to see if the story got better. It did not and I'm no longer listening to the book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Doris Kearns Goodwin again?

    Not likely


    How could the performance have been better?

    As with the other evaluators opinions, I feel the narrator of a story predominantly about an all-male cast should be a male voice. Ms. Toren's voice was intolerable after the first several hours.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Team of Rivals?

    The minutiae of detail about everything....readings from journals that described everything. When used properly it helps to paint a vivid and interesting picture of the times. When overused it becomes boring, annoying and uninteresting.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like my credit back on this one....absolutely no value associated with this audio book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 01-02-13
    William 01-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books ever!"
    What made the experience of listening to Team of Rivals the most enjoyable?

    It was an accurate account of one of the most important times in the history of America. It was full of details that has never been revealed by any other author or book.


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

    How Lincoln's magnanimous personality transcended his whole administration.


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

    Her gift of presentation and knowing when to pause and how long to pause.


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

    The true history of Lincoln.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicki 12-24-12
    Nicki 12-24-12

    Listening and loving it!

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    "The BEST Lincoln Analysis, Ever!"

    This book is masterfully done, expertly researched, and wonderfully read. The best analysis of the inner workings of Lincoln's presidency and character I have ever read, and I fancy myself a history buff. Lots of paeans to Lincoln have been written, as his was probably the most important presidency in the relatively brief history of the US. What makes this book special is that Goodwin puts Lincoln into context so thoroughly that it becomes easier to understand why he might have acted as he did, and what the consequences of his actions were, not only on events, but on those who came into contact with him. In a time of " me first" politics and politicians (and what times aren't?), Lincoln never let his ego override his objectives. A wonderful character study!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Sydney 11-19-12
    Chris Sydney 11-19-12 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself! I love to escape into a good book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Defining Moment in American History"

    This is a fascinating account of a critical and nation defining moment in American History.
    The abolition of slavery. This book details the lives of the men and women who played such a prominent role in this period. This is no dry academic look at history, Goodwin makes the period and the players come alive to make this a real page turner. Lincoln forged a team that liberated a nation from the contagion of slavery. He truly deserves his place as one of the most admired presidents of the United States.
    After you listen to the book I recommend you see the film Lincoln and the extraordinary performance by Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony 09-05-12
    Anthony 09-05-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Good Book Weak Narration"
    Where does Team of Rivals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most excellent biographies I have ever come across.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Abraham Lincoln is definitely a leader whose kind we desperately need today.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Choosing a female to narrate a book which is 90% about men and quotations from them is as questionable as it would be to choose a male to read "Little Women".


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

    impossible


    20 of 28 people found this review helpful
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