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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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A wonderful book

Not just a book you listen to during your normal audiobook time. One that you find more time for. Get this book. Listen to it. You will be glad you did.

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  • oscar
  • LEXINGTON, SC, United States
  • 12-19-16

Majestic and wonderful.

A must-listen for anyone who's interested in the life and leadership of Abraham Lincoln. A truly superb work.

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Incredible life & lessons from Lincoln

Absolutely loved this! It is a daunting undertaking, but the hours fly by listening. The life & story of Lincoln & his team, is enthralling.

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winner

very long , but very well written. For me there were times I didn't want to quit listening and then other times I was hoping it was over. Pulls you into all the surroundings of Lincoln and the times

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Amazing story, amazing slow reading.

Only recommendation....listen at 1.5 speed to keep from losing your mind. Such a slow reading.

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EliciousBookReview

excellent narrator - 5*
well researched highlighting Lincolns character and the opinions of his very diverse cabinet, and his masterful administration of it. - 5*
humorous - 3*

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So slow I could not finish it.

The most boring book I have ever listened to. It jumped all over. It was very slow.

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A Compelling Human Story

Team of Rivals and Lincoln changed my life. Inspiring story worth the time to read.

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Great book that moved me to tears

This was the first book I've ever listened to about Abraham Lincoln and I really enjoyed it. It was well written and seemed to be well researched. The one thing the book was lacking that I craved was the real Abraham Lincoln and what his though processes were. There were times in the book where the author would talk about how Abraham Lincoln never got mad always forgave, but an hour later she would talk about a time her was got mad and struck back in anger at people. Those are the times I wish she would have gone more in depth about who he was and what made him tick to highlighted the true human nature of Abraham Lincoln. Overall a good book and if you are on the fence about listening to it. Get the book it's well worth the time.

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Poor sound editing is very distracting

Doris Kearns Goodwin's book is engaging, informative, and well-organized. I highly recommend it. The narration by Suzanne Toren is also quite good, though the sound quality leaves a little something to be desired.

More than that, however, the editing was very poorly done. In between audio clips that were pieced together for this lengthy work, there is an unnatural pause. As the new clip begins, the audio fades in - dropping the first syllable or two of the first line. At one point, Toren begins a paragraph about a member of Lincoln's cabinet (Chase, as I eventually discovered), but his name is completely inaudible. For several sentences afterwards, descriptions of events refer to "he" and "him", but as the the antecedent to these pronouns was swallowed up by the odd "fade in" effect, listeners are completely in the dark as to about whom the narrator is speaking!

There was also at least one moment where clip of about five minutes repeated itself (I think around chapter 20, in a discussion of general Grant).

It's really a shame that the enjoyment of such a good book is frustrated by shoddy editing.