Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin Book Summary
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.
Team of Rivals (Doris Kearns Goodwin) Book Reviews
IMMORTAL BEYOND TIMEPrior to reading this fine book, I considered my knowledge of the 16th president "above average." After completing "Team of Rivals", I now fully understand what Daniel Day-Lewis, the actor who portrayed President Lincoln in the motion picture, meant when he said, "I never loved someone more that I never met as I loved Lincoln." I'm in awe of the greatness that was President Lincoln..VIEJO56Score: 5/5
Excellent ReadThis was an excellent book that gave insight not only into Lincoln the president, but more importantly Lincoln the leader and family man. The author did an excellent job presenting the information in a manner that was easy to follow along with engaging. Lincoln was truly an extraordinary man..BusterAlScore: 5/5
OutstandingOne of the most interesting books I've read! This should be required reading for every politician before they are allowed to take office. Lincoln was an amazing man who was able to set politics aside when it came to finding the best people to fill out his cabinet..VTgolfrScore: 5/5
A Sweeping History of the Civil WarIf you read one book about the Civil War, this is that book. Tracing Lincoln's career as America's history we see a nation doomed to war. We forgot that in 1860 the south shipped 1billion pounds of cotton. The problem? The north held their debt. The north hated slavery and forcing the south to give it up, would make their economy collapse overnight. Goodwin is at the height of her powers creating this sweeping yet intimate portrayal of the United States at her darkest hour..Krugie'sScore: 5/5
Splendid!A must read for all American history enthusiasts. Hats off to the author for skillfully taking her readers on the enormously enjoyable journey of deeper understanding not only about the "Great Ancient" Abraham, but of all the important players in the 1860's era!.Cali-MeowScore: 5/5
Amazing book.....Beautifully written book..Nikhil1971Score: 5/5
Inside Lincoln's CabinetOne of a handful of books I have read twice.This book reveals the dynamics of his cabinet and the great stress Lincoln was under during the Civil War. Read this book..HarveyMScore: 5/5
Brilliant!A moving, extremely well-researched and well-written account of Lincoln's team and the president's extraordinary skills and humanity. I didn't think I would finish a 1,000-page book, but I relished it and think Goodwin did an extraordinary job. Brava!.JbrahmsScore: 5/5
Team of RivalsMs. Kearns-Goodwin books allow the reader to truly understand the the hopes, dreams and actions of her subject. This monumental work is no different. You feel that you are side-by-side with Lincoln throughout his entire life while reading this wonderful book. Team of Rivals is a great read. Read it to feel close to all of what Lincoln was and learn how he changed our country, and the world..R HillburyScore: 5/5
Team of RivalsThis book is so well written and so well put together that it feels like a work of the finest fiction. Although I have read many tomes about Lincoln, I found myself in tears when he died of his wounds. I normally don't cry over history books. Kudos to the author! I hope to see more from her. And to top it off, she is a friend of the Colbert Report..BasbluScore: 5/5
Amazing book!Lengthy but such an amazing book. Loved the way the author really wove the lives of each of these people together..MelanieGean423Score: 5/5
ExcellentBook is very well researched and written, and engrossing. Be forewarned: the iBook addition does NOT contain any illustrations or photos like the printed version..Robert654Score: 4/5
Team of rivalsThe book was wonderful! I learned so much history that I had not known. It is written in a style that makes the facts come alive..BobbychrisScore: 5/5
Five star writing, 3 star presentationGoodwin has mastered the subject matter and presents a compelling and informative narrative. A must read for anyone interested in presidential history, political history, the Civil War, or American history writ large. But, for students of history, one of the greatest benefits of a work like this is the notes. Goodwin's notes are extensive, but (unless there is an issue with my download) the notes are not linked--you don't see the endnote number on the page you are reading. Very disappointing and frustrating..MikefaoScore: 4/5
LincolnWow, the best book ever written about our greatest president. Goodwin was able to reveal the real Lincoln through the eyes of his cabinet and many others. I feel I now know Mr. Lincoln on a personal level. It is time for a visit to Springfield to again pay my respects to this great man and president..Waward1Score: 5/5
Great readA very thorough book that provides many lessons on Lincoln, the times, and human nature in general. What boggles the mind is that so many current politicians and leaders claim to have read it, yet seem to have learned nothing from it..Brian WatScore: 4/5
Very well written, terrible presentationI am very disappointed with this book. I was impressed with the movie Licoln, but the presentation of this book is just plain awful. There is no plot, just names, dates, and facts. I would not recommend this book to anyone..Pc7935747Score: 1/5
A MUST-read by one our country's leading historianI figured with the Holidays again at hand and the new Lincoln movie out in theaters, there might be renewed interest in downloading this book and wanted to leave a review for those potential purchasers. I have an intense interest in both current events/politics and history, but I honesty couldn't have told you the last time I successfully read a book, for pleasure, cover to cover. Until this engrossing read from Doris Kearns-Goodwin. It meets and I believe exceeds the "hype," and draws you into the lesser-known stories of Lincoln, those around him, and our country during such a fragile moment in our still young democracy. So if you're debating this as a gift for the Holidays, and maybe are discouraged by either the length of the read or by your honest assessment of how much reading you actually do--- go for it. This book has something for everyone..JusttheJAKEsterScore: 5/5
Wonderful. Powerful.It was a pleasure to read such a well researched and accessible book. The style of writing makes this read like a novel..AmuttiScore: 5/5
Team of RivalsI am trying to read biographies of all the Presidents. I had read No Ordinary Time and knew I liked Goodwin. I found this very informative and highly recommend this book..Piglet 2Score: 4/5
Team of RivalsExcellent political work that focuses on Lincoln's ability to lead a group of different personalities as president including politicians who were anti-Lincoln before his election..WalkingonSandScore: 5/5
Team of rivalsThis is the best book I've read on Lincoln. I felt as if I was there. It is well worth your time to read this book. Excellent read..8310tsScore: 5/5
Team of RivalsWhat an excellent and well researched account of the life of this famous man. I found the pace of the book very pleasing and the content even more so. Days would pass without reading, yet I could easily recall my place in Lincoln's life. Congratulations to you, Doris Kearns Goodwin, on such a masterpiece.....Dandrew71262Score: 5/5
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