Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Team of Rivals

The life and times of Abraham Lincoln have been analyzed and dissected in countless books. Do we need another Lincoln biography? In Team of Rivals, esteemed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin proves that we do. Though she can't help but cover some familiar territory, her perspective is focused enough to offer fresh insights into Lincoln's leadership style and his deep understanding of human behavior and motivation. Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln'...

Details Team of Rivals

TitleTeam of Rivals
Release DateSep 26th, 2006
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Number of pages916 pages
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Biography, Politics, North American Hi..., American History, Military History, Civil War

Reviews Team of Rivals

  • Dana Stabenow
    I heard Goodwin talk about this book on NPR, and she sounded like she'd been an eyewitness to the events. Sold me the book.On June 17th--I've been a hundred pages from the end for ten days. I don't want Abe to die.July 17th -- Okay, I finally made myself finish. Abe's dead and I'm a wreck.In this book Goodwin puts Abraham Lincoln in the context of his peers, many of whom ran against him for the first Republican nomination for president (remember ...
  • Matt
    As a history lover, I'm a bit of a snob. While everyone is rushing to purchase the newest warm-milk entry from David McCullough, I make a show of purchasing turgid, poorly edited treatises put out by university presses about some guy who did something long ago that doesn't really matter anymore. Of course, as every snob eventually learns, being snobbish is like slamming a hammer down on your thumb: you only hurt yourself; and everyone thinks you'...
  • Kemper
    (Please forgive me resorting to a tired trick and leading off with a definition from the dictionary, but there is a point to it.)pol-i-ti-cian1: a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially : one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government2A : a person engaged in party politics as a profession2B: a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually short-sighted reasonsAmeri...
  • Ellis
    I would have given this book more stars if I could have. I think I loved this book so much because Abraham Lincoln was such an absolutely amazing person. We are all taught that Lincoln was one of America's great presidents, and we know that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but he is so much greater of a man than I ever knew. Lincoln was super smart, wise, and incredibly compassionate and empathetic. While unsure of his own faith, Lincoln,...
  • Steve
    When Rod Blagojevich was impeached and hauled off to prison, that made four of the previous seven Illinois governors to have done time. Countless representatives and aldermen have been locked up, too. Then there was my wife’s favorite: a former Secretary of State found after his death to have $800,000 stuffed in shoe boxes. Our reputation for corrupt politicians is, I dare say, unsurpassed. Fortunately, we here in the Land of Lincoln (as we cal...
  • Sue
    Put aside whatever you're reading now--yes, even those compelling vampire/romance books--and pick up this book. It's that good. Even though Goodwin is writing about Lincoln's cabinet, her work is eerily contemporary, given Obama's situation. Everyone but a handful of people thought Lincoln had risen too fast and was too untried to take charge of a desperate crises facing the country. Goodwin uses the main characters' diaries, letters, journals, a...
  • Sydney
    Biographies aren't always boring tomes. Doris Kearns Goodwin does a magnificent job of detailing how Abraham Lincoln, a lesser known and ill-positioned candidate captures the Republican party's nomination, goes on to get elected President, and leads America through the tumult of the Civil War.While most of us know Lincoln as "honest Abe" and the President who emancipated slaves, Kearns-Goodwin offers a portrait of a man who took many of the men w...
  • James Thane
    In 1860, the fledgling Republican Party nominated its second candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Four men competed for the honor: William Seward, a U.S. Senator, former governor of New York and one of the most honored and experienced politicians of his day; Edward Bates, a former congressman from Missouri; Salmon P. Chase, a former U.S. Senator and former governor of Ohio who had played a significant role in founding the party; and...
  • David Baldacci
    This is the book that the film “Lincoln” is somewhat based on. President Obama has said that he looks to Lincoln as a model leader. He should. In TEAM OF RIVALS Lincoln brings genius to the adage “friends close, enemies closer.”
  • Cindy
    (I thought it would make sense to start this while I'm still reading Gone With the Wind.)This isn't a straight-up biography of Lincoln. And it's certainly not a history of the Civil War. Instead it's a portrait of Lincoln, defined by the diverse men he surrounded himself with on his Cabinet. In particular, Goodwin focuses on the 4 major contenders in the Republican national convention: Lincoln, Seward, Chase and Bates. The better part of the book...
  • Karen Canova
    I've always thought Abraham Lincoln was the greatest president in U.S. history, and now, after reading Team of Rivals, I'm convinced of that. His political genius allowed him to harness the talents and tame the “lesser angels” among his many rivals – the political and social cream of the crop in the 1840s-50s. This very humble, self-deprecating man, who lacked formal education and experienced so much sorrow early in life, was pitted against...
  • Barnabas Piper
    Reading this book (or listening on Audible in my case) is a labor of love - it is detailed, intricate and long. But wow, is it incredible. The way DKG weaves together the stories of a ll Lincoln's cabinet members personally and politically and explains their respective roles in American history is astounding. I've never learned so much American history from a single book and enjoyed it along the way. I have also never respected Abraham Lincoln as...
  • Chrissie
    ETA: Lincoln's death in 1865 is covered, but not in detail. I will now read "They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for VengeanceI think the book IS good. But Lincoln was much more of a shrewd politician than an honest, moral individual and a fun loving storyteller. I did come to admire him. With talent he got people of opposing views to work together toward a common goal. This was no smal...
  • Carol
    Team of Rivals was a big undertaking for me at over 750 pages. What a treasure of a book. I had the feeling that you get with a good piece of fiction where you hate for the book to end. I felt like I was there, that I knew Lincoln. What a marvelous man, a moral man, a patient man. There were lessons between the covers of this book I would feel comfortable including in a talk in church. I have read other books about Lincoln and other books about t...
  • MacK
    I, like many young people, was often frustrated by history class. No matter what how hard I worked, or how much I studied we always seemed to run out of time to cover the really interesting parts of history, and I always felt short changed.Few time periods frustrated me as much as the Civil War. We would spend weeks going over Manasses, and Shiloh and Sherman's march and I invariably felt that something was missing. Was it really just General v.s...
  • Mahlon
    Most readers would question the need for another Lincoln Biography at this point. After 200 years and numerous Biographies, is there anything new to learn about the man? In Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin answers that question with a resounding yes. Her focus is mainly on Lincoln as political operator. She explores this theme by looking at Lincoln through the eyes of his three greatest political rivals(and later cabinet members) William Sewa...
  • Julie
    As usual, I seem to be pushing against the river. All the reviews are stellar -- to the 5th degree. My poor offering is a meagre 3.Goodwin is an exceptional historian. Research should have been her middle name. But -- and it's quite a big one -- The book would have been vastly improved if a good editor had taken charge.This book reads like ... you asked someone for a recipe on how to bake a cake, and she starts by telling you how to grow wheat; t...
  • Ashley
    If you’ve ever asked yourself, Abraham Lincoln, what is with that guy? This is the book for you.The answer to that question is both simple and complex. It’s complex because all people are complex, and the political landscape that Lincoln navigated–although lacking 24 hour news cycles, talking heads, and loudmouthed pundits–was nevertheless a treacherous and multi-faceted one. Team of Rivals is in large part Doris Kearns Goodwin’s attemp...
  • Michelle
    I've long admired Abraham Lincoln, but this book increased that admiration by leaps and bounds. It's almost ridiculous how politically adept Lincoln was - especially given his childhood, self taught, etc. It made me (the book) long for another president like Lincoln. He picked the men of his cabinet by their merits and by their spheres of influence. He had people from differing parties and people who flat out hated him. He was unswerving when he ...
  • Arminius
    Team of RivalsTeam of Rivals refers to Abraham Lincoln’s choice of prior adversaries as his presidential cabinet. The first was the most famous Republican candidate for the 1860 presidential race. This was William Seward, the Governor of New York. Seward was a very bright, good story teller and ardently opposed to slavery. He was, in all likelihood, too liberal to get the Republican nomination. The Republican Party was made up of former Whig pa...
  • Kelly
    An elegantly crafted epic that is as gripping of a read as a novel: history can be eminently entertaining. I heard Goodwin interviewed on Radio West and she describes researching this book for 10 years. She utilizes a richness of primary sources to give the reader the opportunity to know well not just Lincoln but the many who surrounded him.I dreaded reaching the last pages of this book--there was only one way for it to end. The death of Lincoln,...
  • Bill
    I suspect I am now in love with Lincoln. The book convincingly places him in the context of his peers and rivals for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination, then shows how he cannily and selflessly coaxed masterful performances out of each of these men as cabinet members during the civil war. Once Goodwin gets to Lincoln's presidency, the book becomes more disciplined, treating major battles and even Booth's assassination conspiracy as perip...
  • Terri
    This is the first time in a long time that I'm really sad the book came to and end. I feel as if I've lost a friend, and a wise one at that. Doris Goodwin does such a good job of placing you in Lincoln's cabinet meetings, learning his thoughts and words as recorded from them in personal diaries, by the end you feel as if you've known them all personally.It was also interesting to learn about what the mood was in the country at that time. Lincoln ...
  • Wendy
    This was one of the most extraordinary books I have read in a very long time. The book is 757 pages long. Superbly edited -- not one word is wasted. It is so beautifully written that it reads like a novel. I learned so much about Lincoln, his cabinet and the political world of the time. These are just a few things -- very few -- that was a revelation to me. 1) Women played a major role in their husbands,fathers, brothers political lives. Some eve...
  • Samantha
    Don't get me wrong. This is a good book, but it's not as good as I thought it would be or had heard it would be. I expected more from Doris Kearns Goodwin. It didn't go into the political genius as much as I wanted. It details the four men in Lincoln's cabinet that play a major role. It's more about them and their interactions than it is about Lincoln's political moves. There is a lot of interesting descriptions of the generals, but I got tired o...
  • Kat
    I thoroughly enjoyed Team of Rivals. It took me a little longer than usual to get into the book, and as a result I almost want to go back and read the first half again as I think I would pick up much more a second time through.
  • James
    Abraham Lincoln had always seemed to me, an outsider flattening my nose against the fishbowl of American history, generally a big deal. In his story's oversimplified version, he kept his country together, freed slaves, and was all but deified upon his assassination. The man was, even if everyone else at the time didn't know it, "still too near to his greatness" as they were, "[h]is genius... still too strong and too powerful for the common unders...
  • GoldGato
    "This war is eating my life out. I have a strong impression that I shall not live to see the end." (Abe Lincoln)My word...what would have happened to the United States of America if Abraham Lincoln hadn't been elected at the right moment in time? Stunning. As an average reader, my knowledge of Lincoln was standard, that is, he was the Great One who saved the Americans from their own absurdity. But this book took me on a whole new journey, showing...
  • Otis Chandler
    I loved this book. Although it was a beast of a book, and could probably have been a lot shorter. I had not read a Lincoln biography before, so was firstly blown away by how he rose up from nothing, self-taught himself a college degree, and then somehow rode the middle line and got himself elected President. Nobody seemed to have expected that, nor expected much from him, and he continued to surprise them all.I am always curious about the motivat...