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Team of Rivals

The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Goodwin, Doris Kearns (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Team of Rivals


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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.
Authors: Goodwin, Doris Kearns
Title: Team of rivals
the political genius of Abraham Lincoln
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, c2005
Characteristics: xix, 916 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm
Contents: Four men waiting
The "longing to rise"
The lure of politics
"Plunder & conquest"
The turbulent fifties
The gathering storm
Countdown to the nomination
Showdown in Chicago
"A man knows his own name"
"An intensified crossword puzzle"
"I am now public property"
Master among men
"Mystic chords of memory" : Spring 1861
"The ball has opened" : Summer 1861
"I do not intend to be sacrificed" : Fall 1861
My boy is gone" : Winter 1862
"He was simply out-generaled" : Spring 1862
"We are in the depths" : Summer 1862
"My word is out" : Fall 1862
"Fire in the rear" : Winter-Spring 1863
"The tycoon is in fine whack" : Summer 1863
"I feel trouble in the air" : Summer-Fall 1863
"Still in wild water" : Fall 1863
"There's a man in it!" : Winter-Spring 1864
"Atlanta is ours" : Summer-Fall 1864
"A sacred effort" : Winter 1864-1865
The final weeks : Spring 1865
Local Note: Boston Public Library Rare Books copy: book jacket present
ISBN: 0684824906
9780684824901
Branch Call Number: 973.7092 G656t
E457.45 .G66 2005
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Report This Oct 08, 2013
  • MarioEnriqueRiosPinot rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I just finished this wonderful biography. I could not put rhe book down. I picked it up quite by accident and was pleasantly surprised. I think this is my first biography of Abe and its a good introduction to his life and work. Thank you.

I didn't rate it because there was no point. If you want to read a good historical account of Lincoln, borrow David Herbert Donald or Gore Vidal.

Report This Dec 04, 2012
  • hmcgivney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Longer than the other Goodwin biography that I've read (No ordinary time : Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt : the home front in World War II) I think that Team of Rivals suffered a bit in having Lincoln share the stage with his rivals. While I saw value in learning about Seward (and about the political dynamo that was Thurlow Weed), I didn't think that Bates and especially the ambitious and holier-than-thou Chase added much to my understanding of Lincoln and the Civil War. I heartily enjoyed the very thorough picture of Lincoln that Goodwin presents. In school I learned about the serious and melancholy man, but I loved the many accounts of his gregarious storytelling and the background info on some of the great decisions of the war. Lincoln's assassination offers one of the great "if only" scenarios of history. How would reconstruction and reconciliation have been different under the empathetic and rational Lincoln, who didn't have a vindictive bone in his body? I felt that the beginning was too long - I didn't need that much exposition about the political road to the 1860 nomination, or about the rivals' personal history. But once the War started (about halfway through this long book) things picked up for me considerably. I'm glad that I read it.

The book that inspired what is sure to be an award winning movie. Put this on your 2013 reading list.

Report This Jun 06, 2012
  • Agent13 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

You expect excellent books when it comes to Doris Kearns Goodwin and with Lincoln she does not disappoint. A thoroughly researched book into the life of the 16th president makes the case that Mr. Lincoln was indeed our finest president. His time, of course, was during a fragile era in our republic. What interests me is that when Lincoln sought the best men for his cabinet, it included his foes! A lesson here on getting along with others is valuable to this reader. Towards the end, I actually cried when Lincoln's fate was introduced in the book. One little quibble: the author seems to include all of her research in this book. There are only so many times you can read about the menu of state dinners.

Report This Feb 12, 2012
  • Freebird12 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a very in-depth, intriguing work, chronicling a less-reviewed side of Lincoln: his Cabinet. A book about the rivals of Abraham Lincoln; the top politicians and leaders of the day, who he was smart enough to have near him. It took awhile to digest this one, but it is worth the read.

Report This May 05, 2011
  • lutzmas rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

While it dwelt a bit too much on the social lives of some of the cabinet members and their families for my taste, the book laid out in great detail how Lincoln arrived at some of his positions on major issues of the day (Emancipation, Reconstruction, etc..). It was a real pleasure to discover the likes of Stanton, Seward, Grant, and even Chase (to a lesser degree) and the book leaves one feeling the damage done by the premature departure of one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as the 16th President of the U.S. Filming will begin this fall for an anticipated release in the fourth quarter of 2012, Deadline.com reported. "I'm excited to be working with Sally for the first time," said Spielberg. "I've admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln."

Report This Jul 16, 2010
  • Ajena rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Typical Goodwin writing; lots of human interest to bring historical figures to life

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Report This Feb 12, 2012
  • Freebird12 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Freebird12 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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