Book Review: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

August 1, 2023

About:

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.

  • 916 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0684824906

Book Review: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
My rating for Team of Rivals – 5
Buy Team of Rivals from Amazon.com*

More Books by Doris Kearns Goodwin*

Thoughts:

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.

Buy Team of Rivals from Amazon.com*
More Books by Doris Kearns Goodwin*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I bought this book.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Summary
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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Wrap Up

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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