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Team of Rivals Audiobook

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

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, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.

Listen to an interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin on The Bob Edwards Show.

©2005 Blithedale Productions, Inc.; (P)2005 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

  • 2006 Quill Award Nominee
  • National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Biography or Autobiography, 2005

"The knowledge gained here about these three significant figures who well attended Lincoln gain for the reader an even keener appreciation of the rare individual that he was." (Publishers Weekly)
"An elegant, incisive study of Lincoln and leading members of his cabinet that will appeal to experts as well as to those whose knowledge of Lincoln is an amalgam of high-school history and popular mythology." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Carol Lemelin St. Clair Shores, MI USA 01-14-07
    Carol Lemelin St. Clair Shores, MI USA 01-14-07 Member Since 2013

    seeker

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Richard Thomas is tops"

    Not only is this a marvelous book, easy to read, succinct and thorough, it is read beautifully by Richard Thomas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Detail-oriented USA 12-23-06
    Detail-oriented USA 12-23-06 Member Since 2015

    Detail-oriented

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stimulating"

    Anyone who has been involved in office politics will immediately understand Lincoln's dilemma. Not only did he have a union that was dissolving but he also felt the need to keep his enemies (or at least competitors) close. Although his actions seem logical in hindsight, it was my sense that the author overstated the affection between the protagonists and understated the confusion that reigned during the tumultuous Civi War years. Despite the flawed premise of the book, it was a very interesting read (listen). The author imbued each of the main characters with a personality. I will listen to this again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 08-08-06
    Benedict San Francisco, US, Canada 08-08-06 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Here is who Abraham Lincoln was..."

    Doris Kearns Goodwin hit the mark in this biography. She tells what Lincoln was like and what his greatness was.

    It is remarkable that his simplicity, decency, directness and brilliance is so rare in the world today.

    I think from reading this biography that we can all, why even myself, can apply Lincoln's lesson in directness, a forgiving manner and going for the good result in our lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Dunwoody, GA, United States 07-29-06
    Joel Dunwoody, GA, United States 07-29-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Abraham Lincoln and friends"

    A good, but not great Civil War book. Not much if you are looking for management advice, but it is a good book if you like Civil War works. President Lincoln deserves the title of being one of our greatest presidents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Waban, MA, USA 06-27-06
    Joel Waban, MA, USA 06-27-06
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    "It's All in the Details"

    She's just done a fantastic job with this biography. So many primary sources, and such interesting detail. It's like being there and living it all. Can listen to it all over again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cranberry 06-07-06
    Cranberry 06-07-06 Member Since 2010
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    "It is possible to learn more about Lincoln"

    Despite the multitude of books written about Lincoln, it is amazing that we can still learn more about the great man. This is an interesting perspective -- a good insight into how he thought politically about the people around him.

    Richard Thomas does a very good job narrating. Move on over to the Manhunt audiobook for the same narrator to continue the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Redding Reader USA 04-06-06
    Redding Reader USA 04-06-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Team of Rivals"

    This book was wonderful...I couldn't wait to get to my Ipod and was sorry to have it end. Goodwin paints a very full and awesome character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dwight Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 03-22-06
    Dwight Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 03-22-06 Member Since 2016
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    "Role Model"

    I loved this book. Not only was it masterfully written and narrated, it inspired me to be a better person. This should be a must for all those who study and aspire to leadership.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Lafayette, IN, USA 03-05-06
    Ken Lafayette, IN, USA 03-05-06
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    "Lincoln From His Rivals Perspetive"

    Very interesting insight into Lincoln from the perspective of his rivals. Both from what they wrote and from Lincoln's writing and actions in engaging them in his cabinent. A very interesting approach to gain a better understanding of mind of this great President.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 03-02-06
    Debera Severna Park, MD, United States 03-02-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Excellent Read"

    Partisan politics is nothing new. Well worth the purchase, this book provides the political insight to Lincoln's winning the Republican ticket for the 1860 presidential election and how the power of personality brought together an administration that met the test of a lifetime. Couldn't have picked a better narrator. Richard Thomas was the perfect choice for depicting the times and politics of Abraham Lincoln.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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