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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln


Book Overview: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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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PublisherSimon & SchusterSimon & Schuster
Publication Date2006-09-262005-10-25
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs

"An elegant, incisive study....Goodwin has brilliantly described how Lincoln forged a team that preserved a nation and freed America from the curse of slavery."--James M. McPherson, "The New York Times Book Review"

"Goodwin's narrative abilities...are on full display here, and she does an enthralling job of dramatizing...crucial moments in Lincoln's life....A portrait of Lincoln as a virtuosic politician and managerial genius."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"

"Splendid, beautifully written....Goodwin has brilliantly woven scores of contemporary accounts...into a fluid narrative....This is the most richly detailed account of the Civil War presidency to appear in many years."--John Rhodehamel, "Los Angeles Times"

"Endlessly absorbing....[A] lovingly rendered and masterfully fashioned book."--Jay Winik, "The Wall Street Journal"

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer, historian, and political commentator, celebrated for her detailed and engaging accounts of American political history. Born on January 4, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York, Goodwin's fascination for history was sparked during her childhood and led her to earn a PhD in Government from Harvard University. Best known for her biographies of prominent American presidents, Goodwin's work has become recognized for its narrative strength and rigorous scholarship. Books like "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" and "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, & the Golden Age of Journalism" earned her critical acclaim and multiple awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for History. Besides her literary achievements, Goodwin has worked as a presidential historian for NBC News and as a regular guest commentator for PBS NewsHour. Her valuable insights, extensive knowledge, and gift for storytelling continue to enrich America’s understanding of its political heritage.

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