Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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Simon and Schuster, Dec 8, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 944 pages
3839 Reviews
Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham 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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User Review  - mobilelaw - Overstock.com

You will learn a lot about the savvy political strategy that Abraham Lincoln used to construct his cabinet. Given the political divisions in Washington today this is an eye opener. Read full review

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User Review  - Stuart Mccunn - Goodreads

An unfortunately addictive book. It reads like a fine novel despite being an accurate account of the time. The book really takes an intelligent view of Lincoln's presidency by not focusing on him but ... Read full review

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Contents

MASTER AMONG MEN
321
CONTENTS
330
Epilogue
751
Notes
759
Illustration Credits
881
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About the author (2006)

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s interest in leadership began more than half a century ago as a teacher at Harvard. Her experiences working for LBJ in the White House and later assisting him on his memoirs led to Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor: The Home Front in World War II. She earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award–winning film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, the New York Times bestselling chronicle of the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, the writer Richard N. Goodwin.

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