Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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Simon and Schuster, Dec 8, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 944 pages
1983 Reviews
Winner of the Lincoln Prize

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.

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Well written, extremely well researched. - LibraryThing
Kearns writing is excellent as usual. - LibraryThing
Photos and illustrations enhance the book. - LibraryThing
Well-researched, well-written, completely absorbing. - LibraryThing
This book is an amazing insight on so many levels. - LibraryThing
Very carefully researched and a very entertaining read. - LibraryThing

Review: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

User Review  - Julie - Goodreads

Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Edwin Stanton and other key Civil War era figures came back to life for me in the pages of this book, and having just finished it, I'm left overwhelmed by the greatest ... Read full review

Review: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

User Review  - Patty Smith - Goodreads

This book took me forever to read but I'm so glad I did. I really learned a lot more about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln than I learned in my high school American History class! Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, Richard N. Goodwin.