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Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals

Written by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Narrated by Suzanne Toren


Team of Rivals

Written by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Narrated by Suzanne Toren

ratings:
4.5/5 (193 ratings)
Length:
41 hours
Released:
Mar 8, 2011
ISBN:
9781442342163
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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 was the result of a character that had been forged by life experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because hepossessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
This capacity enabled President Lincoln to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to preserve the Union and win the war.
Released:
Mar 8, 2011
ISBN:
9781442342163
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Doris Kearns Goodwin es una historiadora presidencial de renombre mundial, oradora pública y ganadora del Premio Pulitzer, autora de libros best-seller del New York Times. Su séptimo libro, Liderazgo en tiempos turbulentos, fue publicado en septiembre de 2018 se convirtió en un éxito de ventas instantáneo en el New York Times. Una culminación de la carrera de cinco décadas de Goodwin de estudiar a los presidentes estadounidenses, el libro proporciona una hoja de ruta accesible y esencial para los aspirantes y líderes establecidos en todos los campos y para todos nosotros en nuestra vida cotidiana. Bien conocida por sus apariciones y comentarios en la televisión, Goodwin aparece con frecuencia en todas las principales cadenas de televisión y cable, y en programas como Meet the Press y Late Show con Stephen Colbert. Entre sus muchos honores y galardones. Goodwin recibió el Premio Charles Frankel, otorgado por la Fundación Nacional para las Humanidades, la Medalla Sarah Josepha Hale, el Premio del Libro de Nueva Inglaterra y el Premio Literario Carl Sandburg. Vive en Concord, Massachusetts.


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What people think about Team of Rivals

4.7
193 ratings / 141 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Excellent book. Each chapter read encourage reading the next. Could not put this book down! Have never before read such a detailed biography covering so many people while never losing my attention.
  • (4/5)
    Team of Rivals gives an in-depth look at Lincoln and his life. Moreover, it gives a good look into the lives of those key political figures in Lincolns life such as Seward. Team of Rivals puts the reader front and center in the discussions and debates that led to the Civil War and changed the history of the United States
  • (5/5)
    Superb book, well researched and read like a novel. I couldn't out it down. Even my 9 year old grandson loved the passages I read to him and the summaries I gave him of other parts. He hopes to read it soon!
  • (5/5)
    A simply brilliant history of the political rise to power of Abraham Lincoln contrasted against those who were his adversaries, would eventually run against him in the election of 1860, or supported his opponents. All would eventually be part of his cabinet. It concentrates on the four main characters who would were his competitors and adversaries then eventually his allies; Chase, Bates, Seward and Stanton. While normally I'm not a big fan of political histories, the storytelling ability of Doris Kearns Goodwin is so successful that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire book. The narrative flow is easy to follow, well paced for the more casual reader but is still insightful and thoughtful in it's evaluation of Lincoln as a great mediator and team builder. Very happily recommended for those with any interest at all in American history.
  • (5/5)
    Magnificent history!
  • (4/5)
    While i am late to the reviewing of this book, I will do my best to promote it. DKG has produced a well researched and readable description of the Federal governmental structure and processes which will inform several generations of the period's students. Lincoln was a pioneer of the exit poll. Who knew such techniques were in existence even so far back? The states did not all vote on the same day, so deals could still be brokered by the industrious up to a week after voting began. Also interesting. the biographical assembly is very illuminating showing the varied routes to cabinet positions. This will allow comparisons to the process of cabinet assembly for following and future administrations, no matter how humbling. The vagaries of my library system place this book next to the four volumes of Penguins on Livy's roman history. Not a bad spot.
  • (5/5)
    Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinThis is one of those books that has been on my TBR pile for a long time having gotten a lot of hype several years ago when Obama was reading the book and supposedly assembling his own team of rivals cabinet. Ultimately, it took an audiobook version for me to really get into the story because it is a very thick non-fiction book.All that being said, I loved Team of Rivals and it has gone to the top of my list for reads this year. Kearns Goodwin uses the lives of several member's of Lincoln's cabinet to illustrate Lincoln's life. The primary comparisons are with William Seward, Edward Bates, and Salmon Chase who all contended with Lincoln for the 1860 Republican nomination although the stories of Edwin Stanton and the Blair family also figure prominently in the story.The book opens with a discussion of just how unlikely a candidate Lincoln was for the 1860 Republican nomination and how, to the outside world, he was the least likely of the four men vying for the nomination to receive it. From there, the book moves backward to explain the formative years of the four men and how they came to the 1860 convention with a better chance of the nomination than Lincoln.Once Lincoln wins the nomination and then the presidency, the book talks about how Lincoln turned each man into an ally and brought them into his cabinet where each served successfully and to the benefit of the country as a whole. Finally, the book accounts, in detail, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and so on all the way up to Lincoln's assassination. However, where the book really shines is in the details of the lesser known struggles that Lincoln faced - whether it was placating warring factions in the Republican party, keeping border states from seceding, defusing international disputes with England, etc. Through it all, Kearns Goodwin portrays Lincoln as having almost supernatural powers of compassion, patience, forgiveness, and humor yet she also humanizes him too. It is a remarkable portrayal of America's greatest president and a fascinating read.
  • (3/5)
    Lots of information in this book but tough to read for me. Several, what I would call biographies, of the key players in the book.
  • (5/5)
    nice vraiment brother gracias bendiciones hermano desde Canadá soy cantantes de EEUU.
  • (5/5)
    Best book you will ever read on Lincoln. I was forced to read it and I am soooo glad I did.
  • (5/5)
    So good- I cried so many tears at the end. Beautiful book about a beautiful human being.
  • (5/5)
    Team of Rivals is an articulate portrayal of Lincoln's character and genius. It no only delves into the complexities of Lincoln's rise from a simple prairie life but it honestly portrays the seemingly insurmountable challenges he faced with people, politics, and his time. Excellent read to gain a grasp on leadership, politics, and being a good human being.
  • (5/5)
    An amazing book - epic in scope and research. Kearns-Goodwin brings Lincoln and his times alive by throwing his towering figure in relief against the lives of the men (William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edward Bates) he beat for the Republican nomination. Lincoln then brought those same political forces into his cabinet to cope with the greatest threat to the Republic's existence: The Civil War. Great read!
  • (5/5)
    Fantastically written and engaging thank you for the good work
  • (5/5)
    The standard by which I judge all biographies. There should be a six-star option for books such as this so that other books might have a chance at five stars.
  • (5/5)
    Another wonderfully written book. DKG has great knowledge of her subjects, a great read.
  • (5/5)
    Great in depth look at the political landscape during Lincoln's time and how he influenced politics and those around him.
  • (4/5)
    An excellent view of not only Lincoln's administration, but also of the prevailing views of society at the time regarding slavery, equality, and prejudice. I was very shocked and surprised to learn that equality for African Americans was not embraced by very many people. The ingrained prejudice even among northerners opposed to slavery boggles the modern mind, accustomed as it is to consider all human beings equal as a matter of course.
  • (5/5)
    I give this BOOK 5 starts, but I was very disappointed to find that the audible recording by Simon & Schuster was abridged. I would not have purchased it had I known.Well researched, as is to be expected of Goodwin, this book introduced me to the members of Lincoln's cabinet in greater detail than which I was familiar. It also portrayed Mary Lincoln as a woman who, yes, had problems, but not as a lunatic, as I have actually read in other accounts.But first and last, this was a biography of Lincoln's presidency. His compassion and integrity was a light that underscored all he did. It is hard to imagine such a saint in the White House today, where each man's (yes, so far) ego shines through all his actions. One can't help but wonder what reconstruction would have been like had he lived. And then that train of thought makes us wonder if Michelle Alexander would have had to write about the New Jim Crow in the 21st century. I think Lincoln would be very well served if we all tried to behave a bit more Lincolnesque....Richard Thomas did a very good job narrating the book. Only for perhaps as long as five minutes did I think of John Boy!
  • (4/5)
    A fascinating, well-written look at the individuals who comprised Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Goodwin gives a history of each member, from their young days, through their interactions with each other. The main focus is on William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edward Bates, Edwin Stanton, Gideon Welles, and, of course, Abraham Lincoln. It really does show the "political genius" of Lincoln in combining these disparate (and sometimes hostile) personalities into a team that could work together through a civil war. I'm always nervous about starting a 700-page book, but I had no trouble reading this one. It held my interest from start to finish.
  • (5/5)
    Simply one of the best books I've ever read. I thought "No Ordinary Time" was superb, but this book eclipsed that one. Brings Lincoln and his cabinet to life.
  • (5/5)
    Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin does a masterful job of portraying the marvelous and unique man and leader that Abraham Lincoln was. In today's environment when the two parties refuse to agree on which direction the sun rises, it is inconceivable that Mr. Lincoln managed to put a cabinet together of egotistical and ambitious men that ran against him when he ran for president.

    I have read countless books on various parts of Abe Lincoln's life, but only a handful compete with Team Of Rivals. Ms. Goodwin brings to life not only Mr. Lincoln, but also such great men as William H.Seward, Salmon P. Chase and Edward Bates (A southern Democrat). Each of these men ran for president and were shocked and outraged when Abe became the alternative choice to a divided Republican Convention. That Mr. Lincoln managed to emerge as the nominee was a small miracle, and greater still was him going on to win the presidency, but the greatest miracle was that he brought his opponents together, forming a cabinet of men who viewed themselves as superior in most every way.

    There was a half year gap between Lincoln winning the election and when he became president, as there was not a quick exchange of power in those days after an election. The pro slave faction attempted to murder him before he even took office, but he sneaked into Washington on a train to be sworn in and accept his position as the president of the United States. Along with him came all the men who ran against him. They united around the country and this unusual man who was now their leader. Mr. Bates was from the south, but he was pro Union and crossed party and regional divisions to become an important member of President Lincoln's Cabinet. Mr. Chase emerges as a financial wizard, brilliant in so many ways, but ambitious to a fault. Mr. Seward, the man from New York, who probably should have become president, and perhaps had the most difficulty adjusting to playing second fiddle to the tall President Lincoln, evolved into a loyal and trusted confidante of the president.

    The formation of the Cabinet was not easy, but the men stood together, forming one of the most interesting and unexpected Cabinets in the history of our country. Their collective effort helped the remarkable President Lincoln to save the union from being broken apart. Ms. Goodwin brilliantly highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each of the most powerful men in this remarkable story. I found it fascinating that an age totally dominated by men is told so marvelously by a woman.

    Collectively, President Lincoln and his Cabinet defeated the South and freed the slaves. Ms. Goodwin treats each man with respect, pointing out their flaws, but also careful to illustrate their brilliance. Mr. Chase is a good example, as he is portrayed as a valuable part of the administration and war effort, but also a egotistical loose cannon that straddled the line between doing his part for the war effort and pursuing self interests in a shameful fashion, perhaps even undermining President Lincoln's reelection, obviously hoping to emerge as the candidate to beat. Ms. Goodwin skillfully tells this and other intriguing and captivating story lines concerning this particular Cabinet and their tall, simple, straight-forward President.

    This is a great historical book, one that I wish every American (and others too) would read. I also must ask if these men who were so different, ambitious and competitive could come together for the good of the country, why can't the current dimwits in Congress do so instead of bickering shamelessly while the country's potential diminishes with each passing day. Congress did not always want to do the right thing in Lincoln's day either, but Mr. Lincoln stepped up to the plate and was able to convince his rivals to put aside their ambitions and egos to help him do what was best for the country. Have we become too dysfunctional as a country and people to do that today?

    Another reality that you get from reading this book is that the two political parties have flip-flopped. Whereas the Republicans of Mr. Lincoln's day were clearly the anti-slavery, progressive party and the Democratic Party the pro-slavery, reactionary party, that is obviously not the case today when the Democrats pretend to be progressive while the Republicans become more reactionary with each passing day. One wonders where the adults are like Mr. Bates in the Republican Party today. As bad as the Democratic Party was in Lincoln's day, there were brave, decent and sensible men such as Mr. Bates who took a firm stand against the reactionaries in their own party.

    Reading Team Of Rivals will remind you how much the two parties have changed, but also how the two-party system and partisan politics has not changed at all. I tip my hat to Mr. Lincoln, his Cabinet, the men who fought for the Union, the brave women in the North who provided the soldiers in the Union much greater support than the Confederate soldiers received from the South. I applaud Ms. Goodwin for writing such an impressive, entertaining and valuable historical book.
  • (3/5)
    I only rated it a 3 because I've seen DKG do so much better than this.I liked the insights into Mary Todd Lincoln and the descriptions of her time working with wounded soldiers. That was a great treat in a book I thought would be about Lincoln and his cabinet.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. It was able to bring across the life of one of the most fascinating, inspiring and greatest of men, in a narrative that wasn't heavy reading or mind numbing. A great read from start to finish. More historical biographies should be like this. A must read for people of all nationalities.
  • (5/5)
    This is an excellent history of Abraham Lincoln and in particular his time as President. I don't think I've ever read a better historical biography. It is interesting, detailed without getting lost in details, and brings in enough information about his cabinet members and friends that you get a very good idea of what Lincoln and politics of his day were like. Not a lot of detail is gone into concerning life in the mid-19th century, but that isn't necessary to the story, as this is about Lincoln and his accomplishments and the people that helped him get it done. It isn't a Civil War book, as only the barest detail of battles is given, mostly in the context of how it affected politics. It is also not the screenplay for the movie, the movie covers only a fraction of this book and clearly draws on other sources. This should be required reading for anyone who participates in our government. If our current leaders had his skill and integrity, we'd be much better off.
  • (4/5)
    The Civil War as seen from Washington, D.C., and a penetrating insight into political values, especially those Lincoln's. The impact of the telegraph on the conduct of the war is highlighted by this narrative.
  • (4/5)
    This book was fascinating, a good look at how Lincoln managed all the different personalities in his cabinet. It's not a history of the Civil War, nor is it really a bio of Lincoln, but it does a great job of highlighting his political savvy. I listened to the abridged audiobook and it was just enough to give me a sense of what was going on without being too bogged down in the minute details (which I had been when reading the book itself). I read this for a bookclub discussion and there was a ton here to discuss. If you're interested in Lincoln or the times in which he lived, this is a great place to start
  • (4/5)
    It has been said that more books have been written about Abraham Lincoln than any other historical figure except Jesus Christ. Given that Jesus was born 1800 years before Lincoln, that's saying a lot about who Lincoln is. The question then becomes, do we really need another Lincoln book? We need this one. This book follows the parallel careers of Lincoln, Salmon Chase, William Seward, and Edward Bates. The first part of the book details all of their lives. The Lincoln material was familiar, but it was fascinating to read about the others. All 4 of them were candidates for the Republican nomination in 1860. The book goes into great detail about the machinations of the convention, arguably one of the most important in US history. I started to wonder how the Civil War would have been fought if anyone besides Lincoln had won the nomination. After the election, the book focuses primarily on Lincoln, as it should. It shows Lincoln's true character in forgiving his enemies, and allowing minor incidents to go without major retribution. It also shows the others' growing realization that, whatever their previous impressions, Lincoln was the right person for the presidency at that time. It's hard to say "Spoiler alert" in a history book, since everyone knows the ending. It also focuses on Lincoln's views on slavery and emancipation, which is what Steven Spielberg focused on in his movie "Lincoln", which is based on this book. The book also details Lincoln's last day. You get the impression that if Lincoln had been president during Reconstruction, some of the acrimony that arose would have been alleviated. All in all, a great book about Lincoln. I can definitely see why Steven Spielberg chose this book to turn into a movie.
  • (5/5)
    Simply a masterpiece. Beats many novels I've read. This is the story of a prairie lawyer who came to the 1860 Republican Convention to vie for the presidential nomination against three other highly-credentialed, well-connected politicians and then went on, not only to win the nomination, but the presidency itself. With the nation on the brink of civil war, many feared that this "gorilla" (as some of this enemies characterized him) would lead everyone to doom.

    All Americans are raised upon the mythology of Abraham Lincoln, and as I've been disillusioned by the politicians of my own lifetime as to be wary of any hagiography, I come away from this book truly awed by what an extraordinary individual Lincoln was. He literally came out of nowhere--born in poverty, self-educated, formed by the culture of the frontier--to prove himself to such a degree that only a couple of decades after his death, Leo Tolstoy would report he'd meet peasants on the Russian steppe who held Lincoln in the same regard as the greatest heroes in world history.

    But besides being a biography of Lincoln, a distinguishing mark of this book is that it is also provides lessons in leadership. Lincoln succeeded because of his magnanimous (and ultimately shrewd) way of turning rivals into partners. His three competitors at the 1860 convention were invited to be part of Lincoln's cabinet--and though the rivals often continued to go head-to-head with each other, Lincoln earned their respect by taking a personal interest in all of them.

    I admit taking a long time to read this book, but I think I benefited from that extended spell, because what I was reading percolated within me, and I can see how it has influenced my own leadership style. It is one of those rare reads that was not only enjoyable and informative but has changed me through the course of it.
  • (5/5)
    This one took me awhile to get through, not because I didn't want to read it, but because a lot of thought had to go into every paragraph. An amazing amount of ground and point of view is covered here, while keeping an interesting story an pace. the beginning was a bit slow for my tastes, but it picked up from there.