revlmw, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by revlmw)
Before the book was made into a movie, I thought it was one of the best political history works I had read, Goodwin brings the time and the settings to life and pulls us into the feeling of all that went into this complex part of our history. I was so glad to see how much more could be dome with the same themes on film, fantastic all the way around.
ArielBee, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by ArielBee)
This is an account of Abraham Lincoln’s life in politics from the perspective of those who knew him best. Goodwin provides enough background information and insight into the events of the day and other people’s lives that the reader feels fully immersed in America of the 19th century. The most impressive aspect of Goodwin’s writing is how she creates a feeling of suspense in spite of the reader knowing exactly what is about to happen to Lincoln. Team of Rivals is a great read for people wanting to learn more about the man who kept America whole.
Jeanne Kay, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Jeanne Kay)
If I could rate this book more highly than 5-stars, I would do it! This was an excellent book that was as interesting and as hard to put down as a riveting work of fiction; I laughed, I cried, I was anxious with anticipation; but, it is not fiction - it is history - very well researched and documented history, and that makes it even richer. I loved this book so much that I searched out and got an autographed copy of it, and now am happy to own two copies -- one to read again, one to treasure on my bookshelf. This is the first book by Doris Kearns Goodwin that I've read; it will, by no means, be the last.
punches1, July 11, 2011 (view all comments by punches1)
It's not hard to admire Lincoln as the person we know from stories we're told as children and given the political crisis that was unfolding at the time he became president. Doris Kearns Goodwin makes his story all the more remarkable as she adds perspective from those close to him. To me, these perspectives made his childhood all the more painful; his drive to better himself all the more difficult; his bid for the presidency and the challenge to keep our nation united all the more miraculous. I enjoyed reading about his team of rivals: a cabinet composed of men who lost their own bid to become president. Written as a multiple biography, the book includes the perspectives of a the Sewards, a family worthy of their own book. This book held my attention throughout as the complexities of personal and national stories weaved together to create a look at a remarkable time in American history.
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Simon & Schuster -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Pulitzer Prize-winner Goodwin (No Ordinary Time) seeks to illuminate what she interprets as a miraculous event: Lincoln's smooth (and, in her view, rather sudden) transition from underwhelming one-term congressman and prairie lawyer to robust chief executive during a time of crisis. Goodwin marvels at Lincoln's ability to co-opt three better-born, better-educated rivals — each of whom had challenged Lincoln for the 1860 Republican nomination. The three were New York senator William H. Seward, who became secretary of state; Ohio senator Salmon P. Chase, who signed on as secretary of the treasury and later was nominated by Lincoln to be chief justice of the Supreme Court; and Missouri's 'distinguished elder statesman' Edward Bates, who served as attorney general. This is the 'team of rivals' Goodwin's title refers to. The problem with this interpretation is that the metamorphosis of Lincoln to Machiavellian master of men that Goodwin presupposes did not in fact occur overnight only as he approached the grim reality of his presidency. The press had labeled candidate Lincoln 'a fourth-rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar.' But East Coast railroad executives, who had long employed Lincoln at huge prices to defend their interests as attorney and lobbyist, knew better. Lincoln was a shrewd political operator and insider long before he entered the White House — a fact Goodwin underplays. On another front, Goodwin's spotlighting of the president's three former rivals tends to undercut that Lincoln's most essential Cabinet-level contacts were not with Seward, Chase and Bates, but rather with secretaries of war Simon Cameron and Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. These criticisms aside, Goodwin supplies capable biographies of the gentlemen on whom she has chosen to focus, and ably highlights the sometimes tangled dynamics of their 'team' within the larger assemblage of Lincoln's full war cabinet. Agent, Amanda Urban. 400,000 first printing; BOMC, History Book Club main selection; film rights to Steven Spielberg/DreamWorld Entertainment. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Illuminating and well-written, as are all of Goodwin's presidential studies; a welcome addition to Lincolniana."
by Library Journal,
"[Ms.Goodwin] argues that Lincoln's success in winning the election and in building an exceptionally effective administration lay in his extraordinary ability to empathize with his rivals."
by James M. McPherson, The New York Times Book Review,
"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."
by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"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."
by Los Angeles 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."
Winner of the Lincoln Prize
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.
Soon to be a major motion picture, Lincoln, from Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning writer Tony Kushner, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the President and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.
In this mega bestseller, the acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in a 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. Lincoln succeeded 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 opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.
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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