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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

de Doris Kearns Goodwin

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9,958229752 (4.45)2 / 713
This multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history. Historian Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius, as the one-term congressman rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals to become president. When Lincoln emerged as the victor at the Republican National Convention, his rivals were dismayed. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery led inexorably to civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was because of his 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 that enabled Lincoln to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 229 (següent | mostra-les totes)
(2005) 757 pgs. Very good telling of Abraham Lincoln's life from the time that he runs for Congress up to his death. Adds perspective of his main rivals in the Republican Party - Seward, Chase & Bates.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
This account of the relationships between Lincoln and the members of his Cabinet and his Generals held my interest throughout. ( )
  MrDickie | Oct 12, 2023 |
For more reviews and bookish posts visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a biography of America’s 16th President. Ms. Goodwin is a best-selling, Pulitzer-Prize winning author and historian.

The book’s title refers to Lincoln, and his key cabinet members William Seward, Edward Bates, and Salmon Chase. Each man contributed greatly to the strength of the Lincoln administration, and putting his biography in focus against his political rivals is a fresh perspective into Lincoln’s capabilities.

In Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin leaves out much of Lincoln’s youth, choosing instead to focus on his ability to incorporate, and manage his rivals into his administrations. Lincoln’s ability to let go of personal slights is one of his greatest attributes, infusing his administration with talented, competitive individuals, albeit with large egos.

After introducing each of the personalities involved, the book begins to shine. Lincoln is president, and the author dramatization of his election, inauguration, and other events are some of the best I’ve read.

Mary Lincoln, at times, get center stage in this book – and rightly so. She’s portrayed with sensitivity and intelligence, a grieving mother, wife of a man under enormous stress. Several other women, also get credit for their husbands’ success, and rightly so.

The plot to kill Lincoln, Seward, and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin is described in electrifying detail, without going down the rabbit hole of pursuing the assassins. The book goes into the motivation, and planning of the assassins, attempting to understand them without justifying their actions. The book ends with glimpses into the lives of the people it talks about after Lincoln’s depth.

This is a thoughtful, interesting, and different take on Lincoln’s life. While it takes several chapters to get interesting, when it does, the biography is captivating, and entertaining, providing a glimpse into the man, in context of the company he kept. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Aug 4, 2023 |
A simultaneous biography of Lincoln and his cabinet, highly recommended to me by A2J, Glen V and Mike K. If you've read civil war histories, you will know the story. The viewpoint here is unusual, though; the history is a personal one with a lot of attention to everybody's feelings about each other and long quotations from their 19th century letters and diary entries (they hadn't figured out how to write 20th century letters yet). You feel like you know these people much better than you might after a more typical history - whether the feeling represents some kind of reality, to quote Pee-Wee Herman, I don't know. I did give it 4 big stars. I must say it took me a long time to read this, and the author at times seems to leave no blind alley unexplored. A few comments:

Fascinating description of Delaware Senator Willard Saulsbury (page 503)another great Delawarean that I didn't know about. He said to the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate "Damn you, if you touch me I'll shoot you dead".

One of the books best features, I think, is that instead of saying what a cut-up Lincoln was, it actually uses others' accounts of their conversations to actually report Lincoln's jokes verbatim! Apparently a favorite phrase of his was "the bottom is out of the tub"(page 426). Perhaps this will gain currency again.

Just a few exemplary complaints: On page 678. Is it really necessary to list all of Stanton's "heartfelt" note replying to Henry Ward Beecher's "heartfelt" note saying how great they both were?
On page 617 there is a lengthy aside about Jefferson Davis' son falling off the balcony and killing himself. What is this doing here?
( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
This is a monumental biography of Lincoln. Told from the vantage point of Lincoln and his rivals turned colleagues, Goodwin builds a masterful narrative, meticulously documented and thoroughly enjoyable. One of the best biographies I've read. Lincoln is a complex character, and this book paints a vivid portrait of the man and his time. ( )
  jmd862000 | Mar 28, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 229 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"We needed the strongest men of the party in the cabinet," Lincoln replied. "These were the very strongest men. Then I had no right to deprive the country of their services." They were indeed strong men, Goodwin notes. "But in the end, it was the prairie lawyer from Springfield who would emerge as the strongest of them all."
 
"But this immense, finely boned book is no dull administrative or bureaucratic history; rather, it is a story of personalities -- a messianic drama, if you will -- in which Lincoln must increase and the others must decrease."
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (4 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Goodwin, Doris Kearnsautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Thomas, RichardNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Toren, SuzanneNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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"The conduct of the republican party in this nomination is a remarkable indication of small intellect, growing smaller. They pass over ... statesmen and able men, and they take up a fourth rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar." —The New York Herald (May 19, 1860), commenting on Abraham Lincoln's nomination for president at the Republican National Convention.
"Why, if the old Greeks had had this man, what trilogies of plays—what epics—would have been made out of him! How the rhapsodes would have recited him! How quickly that quaint tall form would have enter'd into the region where men vitalize gods, and gods devinify men! But Lincoln, his times, his death—great as any, any age—being altogether to our own." —Walt Whitman, "Death of Abraham Lincoln," 1879.
"The greatness of Napoleon, Caesar or Washington is only moonlight by the sun of Lincoln. His example is universal and will last thousands of years. ... He was bigger than his country—bigger than all the Presidents together ... and as a great character he will live as long as the world lives." —Leo Tolstoy, The World, New York, 1909.
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For Richard M. Goodwin, my husband of thirty years
Primeres paraules
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On May 18, 1860, the day when the Republican Party would nominate its candidate for president, Abraham Lincoln was up early.
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After all, to [Simon] Cameron was attributed the oft-quoted definition: "an honest politician is one who, when he is bought, stays bought."
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(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
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This multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history. Historian Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius, as the one-term congressman rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals to become president. When Lincoln emerged as the victor at the Republican National Convention, his rivals were dismayed. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery led inexorably to civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was because of his 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 that enabled Lincoln to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union.

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