Customer Reviews for

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Average Rating 4.5
( 174 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(116)

4 Star

(34)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Excellent Read If A Little Bit Heavy On Idolatry

The book's premise is that Abraham Lincoln was not just a great President but one who also had the motivational ability to create a highly effective team comprised of many of his rivals. These were men who had hoped to become President. Instead, they took a subservient ...
The book's premise is that Abraham Lincoln was not just a great President but one who also had the motivational ability to create a highly effective team comprised of many of his rivals. These were men who had hoped to become President. Instead, they took a subservient role to a President whom Goodwin writes about in hagiographic terms.

The team of rivals consisted of one time Republican presidential candidates William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary, and Edward Bates Attorney General. The other major player in this detailed work is Edwin M. Stanton, War Secretary.

This is a good read although the author is stretched at times to continually bring the overall premise together. The opening section of the book paints individual pictures of the major players, which I did not find particularly interesting. This I think is partly because some of the characters - Chase and Bates, at least to this reader are just not compelling in their own right. Thus it takes quite some time for the book to grasp this reader's attention.

Although peripheral to the main story, the hardships of life during the first half of the 19th century become very obvious. Chase lost three wives and two daughters before he was forty four, while Stanton between 1841 and 1846 lost his wife, a daughter and his only brother.

Another fascinating and heart rending aspect portrayed is how the Civil War tore families apart. Four of Mary Lincoln's siblings and three brothers-in-law fought on behalf of the Confederacy, while Bate's son also took up arms for the seceding states.

Team of Rivals is basically a biography of Lincoln with a different twist. It is not as detailed as other works - especially in relation to some Civil War episodes, because the author tries to paint pictures of so many characters. Her portrait of Lincoln to some extent lacks objectivity. Every Lincoln weakness or vacillation has a logic or rationale.

Lincoln undoubtedly was underestimated by rivals and media. One Democratic newspaper referred to him as "a third rate Western lawyer ... a fourth rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar." As a lawyer and in his early presidential years, the term "inspirational" does not come to mind. To some extent, his behavior did warrant this lack of respect.

His lack of authority over his generals in the early stages of the war must have been disturbing for his cabinet. General McClellan treated him with a disdain and discourtesy that was mind boggling. Had Lincoln been more forceful with Generals Meade and McClellan, it is entirely conceivable the war would have ended much earlier. Kearns (and other writers) has tried to paint Lincoln as an accommodating, understanding head of state. It is probably more accurate to suggest as Martin Luther King did that he was at some stages a "vacillating" president. Much has been written about Lincoln's leadership, but I think, the student of leadership can learn as much from what Lincoln did poorly as he did well.

Lincoln "grew" into the Presidency, winning over doubters and opponents slowly but surely with his down to earth, homely style. He most definitely has won over the author who paints Lincoln in very favorable terms no matter what the occasion. There is a tendency for the reader to become seduced by the portrait. Lincoln becomes more and more likeable, more and more presidential as the book develops. Ultimately, the rea

posted by IrishmanSpeaks on November 17, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

Woefully, deeply disappointing...

First, I sincerely apologise for the length of this review, but I hope you will wade through it. To facilitate reading without paragraph breaks, my paragraphs are numbered. (- - 1 - -) Some Heisman Trophies go to the wrong athletes and some literary awards go to t...
First, I sincerely apologise for the length of this review, but I hope you will wade through it. To facilitate reading without paragraph breaks, my paragraphs are numbered. (- - 1 - -) Some Heisman Trophies go to the wrong athletes and some literary awards go to the unqualified. Such is the praise heaped upon Ms. Goodwin, in spite of her Pulitzer Prize (which may say more about the quality of the Pulitzer than it does about her)--for this interesting concept, however terribly wrong-headed and historically-revisionist. I cannot believe that professional critics have so far missed the mark in their reviews of this book, ignoring its significant failings and just accepting its assumptions and assertions as fact. Is the study of history in America so bereft of truth that we can no longer recognize error when it is paraded before us? (- - 2 - -) I was absolutely stunned to read, right off the bat (pg. 9) that Lincoln's speech at the Cooper Union (NYC) on February 27, 1860 was 'the pinnacle of his success' in securing the Republican nomination! Does this woman (a Ph.D.?!?) not even realize why it was such a success? Does she not know that this speech, perhaps more than any other single speech of Lincoln's jaded career, set in stone--and for all posterity to read in horror that has been largely lost in his undeserved praise--Lincoln's calculated effort to enshrine slavery as a permanent fixture in America? His frank, but oft overlooked assertion that slavery┬┐s 'presence among us makes that toleration and protection a necessity' was a profoundly important factor in the subsequent war that would literally tear the heart out of this divided nation. Does she not realize the implications of his words, this poet-president (America's 'only' one[!!}, she opines. Amazing! What about Jefferson's Constitution or even the Declaration of Independence, for crying out loud?) (- - 3 - -) I say, this 'poet' and 'the great emancipator' flatly stated that constitutional protection of slavery had to be 'fully and fairly, maintained'? Do you understand that Lincoln was saying that because slavery exists, we must protect it?!? Why, he was so poetic, he wanted to deport all citizens of African descent to the continent of Africa and insure that his view that no black man was his intellectual or social equivalent remained the law of the land! (- - 4 - -) Have Americans never read what Frederick A. Douglas said about Lincoln? 'Illogical and unfair as Mr. Lincoln┬┐s statements are, they are nevertheless quite in keeping with his whole course from the beginning of his administration up to this day, and confirm the painful conviction that though elected as an antislavery man by Republican and Abolition voters, Mr. Lincoln is quite a genuine representative of American prejudice and Negro hatred and far more concerned for the preservation of slavery, and the favor of the Border Slave States, than for any sentiment of magnanimity or principle of justice and humanity.' He was, perhaps, more eloquent in that statement than in his famous plea, spoken in 1853, 'What stone has been left unturned to degrade us? What hand has refused to inflame the popular prejudice against us? What whit has not laughed at us in our wretchedness?' Lincoln was that stone, that hand, that whit. (- - 5 - -) Lincoln LOVED colonization because, as he said in his 1857 response to the Dred Scott decision, there is 'a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races' (I dare you to Google 'abraham lincoln' and 'liberia' in the same search). (- - 6 - -) Ms. Goodwin apparently does not even know that the Emancipation Proclamation was forced upon Lincoln--another little-realized fact of U.S. history, and particulary of Lincoln-lore--and when he finally caved into the pressure, he did nothing, Nothing, NOTHING for slaves in Northern held territory--like Louisiana, for examp

posted by Anonymous on January 6, 2006

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 174 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    Excellent Read If A Little Bit Heavy On Idolatry

    The book's premise is that Abraham Lincoln was not just a great President but one who also had the motivational ability to create a highly effective team comprised of many of his rivals. These were men who had hoped to become President. Instead, they took a subservient role to a President whom Goodwin writes about in hagiographic terms. <BR/><BR/>The team of rivals consisted of one time Republican presidential candidates William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary, and Edward Bates Attorney General. The other major player in this detailed work is Edwin M. Stanton, War Secretary. <BR/><BR/>This is a good read although the author is stretched at times to continually bring the overall premise together. The opening section of the book paints individual pictures of the major players, which I did not find particularly interesting. This I think is partly because some of the characters - Chase and Bates, at least to this reader are just not compelling in their own right. Thus it takes quite some time for the book to grasp this reader's attention. <BR/><BR/>Although peripheral to the main story, the hardships of life during the first half of the 19th century become very obvious. Chase lost three wives and two daughters before he was forty four, while Stanton between 1841 and 1846 lost his wife, a daughter and his only brother. <BR/><BR/>Another fascinating and heart rending aspect portrayed is how the Civil War tore families apart. Four of Mary Lincoln's siblings and three brothers-in-law fought on behalf of the Confederacy, while Bate's son also took up arms for the seceding states. <BR/><BR/>Team of Rivals is basically a biography of Lincoln with a different twist. It is not as detailed as other works - especially in relation to some Civil War episodes, because the author tries to paint pictures of so many characters. Her portrait of Lincoln to some extent lacks objectivity. Every Lincoln weakness or vacillation has a logic or rationale. <BR/><BR/>Lincoln undoubtedly was underestimated by rivals and media. One Democratic newspaper referred to him as "a third rate Western lawyer ... a fourth rate lecturer, who cannot speak good grammar." As a lawyer and in his early presidential years, the term "inspirational" does not come to mind. To some extent, his behavior did warrant this lack of respect. <BR/><BR/>His lack of authority over his generals in the early stages of the war must have been disturbing for his cabinet. General McClellan treated him with a disdain and discourtesy that was mind boggling. Had Lincoln been more forceful with Generals Meade and McClellan, it is entirely conceivable the war would have ended much earlier. Kearns (and other writers) has tried to paint Lincoln as an accommodating, understanding head of state. It is probably more accurate to suggest as Martin Luther King did that he was at some stages a "vacillating" president. Much has been written about Lincoln's leadership, but I think, the student of leadership can learn as much from what Lincoln did poorly as he did well. <BR/><BR/>Lincoln "grew" into the Presidency, winning over doubters and opponents slowly but surely with his down to earth, homely style. He most definitely has won over the author who paints Lincoln in very favorable terms no matter what the occasion. There is a tendency for the reader to become seduced by the portrait. Lincoln becomes more and more likeable, more and more presidential as the book develops. Ultimately, the rea

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2006

    Woefully, deeply disappointing...

    First, I sincerely apologise for the length of this review, but I hope you will wade through it. To facilitate reading without paragraph breaks, my paragraphs are numbered. (- - 1 - -) Some Heisman Trophies go to the wrong athletes and some literary awards go to the unqualified. Such is the praise heaped upon Ms. Goodwin, in spite of her Pulitzer Prize (which may say more about the quality of the Pulitzer than it does about her)--for this interesting concept, however terribly wrong-headed and historically-revisionist. I cannot believe that professional critics have so far missed the mark in their reviews of this book, ignoring its significant failings and just accepting its assumptions and assertions as fact. Is the study of history in America so bereft of truth that we can no longer recognize error when it is paraded before us? (- - 2 - -) I was absolutely stunned to read, right off the bat (pg. 9) that Lincoln's speech at the Cooper Union (NYC) on February 27, 1860 was 'the pinnacle of his success' in securing the Republican nomination! Does this woman (a Ph.D.?!?) not even realize why it was such a success? Does she not know that this speech, perhaps more than any other single speech of Lincoln's jaded career, set in stone--and for all posterity to read in horror that has been largely lost in his undeserved praise--Lincoln's calculated effort to enshrine slavery as a permanent fixture in America? His frank, but oft overlooked assertion that slavery¿s 'presence among us makes that toleration and protection a necessity' was a profoundly important factor in the subsequent war that would literally tear the heart out of this divided nation. Does she not realize the implications of his words, this poet-president (America's 'only' one[!!}, she opines. Amazing! What about Jefferson's Constitution or even the Declaration of Independence, for crying out loud?) (- - 3 - -) I say, this 'poet' and 'the great emancipator' flatly stated that constitutional protection of slavery had to be 'fully and fairly, maintained'? Do you understand that Lincoln was saying that because slavery exists, we must protect it?!? Why, he was so poetic, he wanted to deport all citizens of African descent to the continent of Africa and insure that his view that no black man was his intellectual or social equivalent remained the law of the land! (- - 4 - -) Have Americans never read what Frederick A. Douglas said about Lincoln? 'Illogical and unfair as Mr. Lincoln¿s statements are, they are nevertheless quite in keeping with his whole course from the beginning of his administration up to this day, and confirm the painful conviction that though elected as an antislavery man by Republican and Abolition voters, Mr. Lincoln is quite a genuine representative of American prejudice and Negro hatred and far more concerned for the preservation of slavery, and the favor of the Border Slave States, than for any sentiment of magnanimity or principle of justice and humanity.' He was, perhaps, more eloquent in that statement than in his famous plea, spoken in 1853, 'What stone has been left unturned to degrade us? What hand has refused to inflame the popular prejudice against us? What whit has not laughed at us in our wretchedness?' Lincoln was that stone, that hand, that whit. (- - 5 - -) Lincoln LOVED colonization because, as he said in his 1857 response to the Dred Scott decision, there is 'a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races' (I dare you to Google 'abraham lincoln' and 'liberia' in the same search). (- - 6 - -) Ms. Goodwin apparently does not even know that the Emancipation Proclamation was forced upon Lincoln--another little-realized fact of U.S. history, and particulary of Lincoln-lore--and when he finally caved into the pressure, he did nothing, Nothing, NOTHING for slaves in Northern held territory--like Louisiana, for examp

    11 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    wow oh wow

    This is a wonderful book. I have read this book 3 times and find it in the "can't it put down" mode. I found this book exciting and full of information that you don't normally get! You must read this book. This book makes you realize how great and wonderful and "human" Lincoln really was. Makes you wish you had know him. Read this book if you love history and really want to get into Lincoln's thought process!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating Book - could not put it down

    I've ready many biographies of Lincoln, but never from this perspective -it is so well written and you see Lincoln thru the eyes of his contemporaries - how they first view him and how their view of him changes into respect, love and even an almost worshipful appreciation that no other man could have been sent by God to lead the country through such a perious time. I had never appreciated the politician Lincoln was. Crafty as a fox, he engaged in political practices we now use, that no one at that time thought of. He was a deep thinker who thought way ahead of anyone else.<BR/><BR/>Everything has come from the personal writings, journal, letters, and speeches made by his contemporaries and their family members who were eye witnesses to his life and time in office. <BR/><BR/>All his opponents thought he was a dumb, hick, rail-spliter with no education. When he beat them all (democrats & republics) and then put the best of them in his cabinet. They all planned to control him like puppet masters. Yet, one by one (depending on their own wisdom and discernmen) they soon came to learn that Lincoln truly was the Best Man for the job and they all came to give him their heart's work in his behalf. <BR/><BR/>True there is back scene manuvering to get around Lincoln by a few malcontents but it ALWAYS backfires due to the ingenious handling of the situation by Lincoln. He never treated an enemy unkindly, he showed warmth of heart to all, he was a man of the people and the first and probably the only true humanitarian elected president that stayed that way to the day of his death.<BR/><BR/>This book is full of history that we never learned elsewhere. It was certainly relevent today - apparently the current president-elect has skimmed some ideas from the book. I hope everyone takes the time to read it carefully. I'm certainly going to read it again.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    Reads like a Novel

    Hstory is only good if it reads like a novel. kearns is both a great historian and a great writer, magnificently developing her thesis that lincoln was a political genius and simply a great person and leader.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2008

    Outstanding!

    I read the first chapter online. Bought the book the next day. I thought $23.95 was a bit steep for a paperback. But the book is extremely well bound, and the cover surprisingly resistant to damage. But the content! The content of the book is unsurpassed. It is a superlative achievment in the field of biographies. Having recently finished another of many Lincoln biographies 'With Malice Toward None', by Stephen B. Oates, I was fairly certain that I had read the most comprehensive account of the life an times of Abraham Lincoln. I was wrong, dead wrong. I highly recommend 'With Malice Toward None', it was a good read, but it was nothing compared to 'A Team Of Rivals'. Few biographies are found that are actually hard to put down, but this is definitely one of them. Save for 'Let The Trumpet Sound', also by Stephen B. Oates, 'A Team Of Rivals' is by far, the most facinating, educational, and skillfully written biography I have ever read. Ms. Goodwin digs much deeper than one would have imagined possible in uncovering a myriad of little known facts and events, encompacing and surrounding the legacy of Mr. Lincoln. Most biographers focus like lasers on the central subject. Ms. Goodwin does this with literary ease. What elevates her work to heights well above all others, is the fact that she skillfully weaves a wealth of relatively unknown information into her work. Unknown information about the supporting cast of characters, in so far as it relates to the main. With this book, Goodwin has succeeded in delivering an almost enthralling account of one of the most historic periods in American history. She does a masterful job in calling both Lincoln, and his cabinet members back from the grave. In this book, we see an animated re-enactment of one of 'the most' turbulent times in American history, all based history, lost letters, and documented facts. With the opening of the first chapter, we begin to feel that we know the characters, and the very natures of each major player, in much greater detail than history books are capable of portraying. Goodwin literally brings her subjects to life. She brings us into an intimate realtionship with the people we are reading about, as if we'd actually met them during the times in which they lived. This book is literally pregnant with little known facts. Facts that make the events of times immanently more understandable. More understandable as to the catalysts that set those events into motion, and greater understanding of the historical results of those events. Having read several Lincoln biographies, I can now safely say, with considerable confidence: 'A Team of Rivals' stands alone in its class. It has no equal. It is a masterfully painted portrait, of the legend that is Lincoln. Unsurpassed in historical facts, vivid detail, and narrative delivery. A remarkable work of non-ficition. The Pulitzer prize was never more rightly bestowed, and never more richly deserved.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    Not So Fast

    I thought this book was a good book, but, as a few others have pointed out, it is not quite accurate. I did extensive research on Lincoln and the slavery issue some years ago and learned that his first choice on the issue of slavery was to send the slaves back to Africa. Only after considerable pressure from his colleagues to free the slaves in order to improve his chances of re-election did he decide to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. It is unfortunate that Ms. Goodwin does not say that and that our country's image of Lincoln remains much more positive than it should be.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    What exactly is the Team of Rivals?

    Before and since the election we've been hearing about a "team of rivals". Well. this book describes the original. I've been talking about this book since it was published - that it should be required reading for anyone in or interested in politics. Reads like fiction. An absolutely amazing accomplishment in our understanding of Lincoln and his times.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Lincoln's Legacy

    The philosopher George Santayama is credited with penning the phrase ¿Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.¿ Historians have adopted this phrase and sharpened it to suite ¿Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.' Team of Rivals, not only documents, but also enlivens our insights about Lincoln's Civil War Administration. It indeed encourages us to study this history. There are in existence today over 2000 separate books, studies, and essays, about the American Civil War. The volumes are devoted to the battles, battlefields, generals, munitions, and detailed descriptions of supplies replete down to the individual General's shoe sizes. The viewpoints abound. We experience the war through the eyes of the commanders in the field as well has the bravehearts entrenched in the soil of their homeland, on both sides of the line. We share the heartbreak and terror of the civilians as they bear witness to the destruction of their homeland and loss of their kindred. Many a learned academic institution has assembled a library focusing on American government in the 19th century. Cresting the collection are numerous titles devoted to the civil wars years. Doris Kearns Goodwin has provided the focal point of that crest with, 'Team of Rivals.' We are guided to witness Lincoln at the helm of the American Ship of State, armed to the bulwarks with an abounding munitions magazine. Lincoln guides the fledgling vessel to follow his planned course. The crew his team of rivals, face threats from both sides, as he steers the nation into its troubled policitical harbor. The team rallies to the threat, heading to the inevitable showdown - war! Kearns Goodwin the architect builds our foundation for understanding the era, by providing the necessary informational blocks needed to best support the views and philosophy of that political theater. A clear picture is painted. The canvass reveals the abolitionist's holy cause, the growing territory¿s ambitious struggle for statehood, the northern business coup's deep-pocketed financial interest, and an insistent southern society's call for the expulsion of Yankee mores from their homeland. The chief issue, which the executive branch has managed to dance around the last forty or so years, is the deep political unrest of the southern states and their growing urgency for secession. The author then introduces a young Lincoln. A rather unique country boy and a distant relation to Daniel Boone, whose every decision and fortune in life guide him to the presidency. A man, who would quote Shakespeare, in the presidential suite to drive home a political position, then recollects a humorous tale to break the solemn air permeating the room. The biographer now exercises her talents on William H.Seward. Seward, Lincoln choice for Secretary of State, parades his accomplishments before the republican conventioneers: Governor of New York, adroit public official and orator. Newspaper editors across the North predict Seward as the sure winner of the newly formed Republican Party's first Presidential convention. Seward, who first considered Lincoln a Podunk, now, saw the opportunity as Secy of State to be the power behind the throne. Seward soon realized the Lincoln genius, came to vigorously campaign for his election to a second term, and wept uncontrollably at the President's death. Lincoln chose Salmon P. Chase for his Secretary of the Treasury. Chase, with his vast business connections, proved to be the banker extraordinaire for a wartime government. Lincoln suffered through Chase¿s ever-persistent self-promotion for the presidency. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton was Lincoln's hammer. The Secretary's work ethic was unmatched only to Lincoln's remarkable talents. During the war, the writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended. The Union needed a superior inspector, a worthy keeper of the rule of law. Lincoln could find no better individual to

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2006

    The Rival Team Wins the Vote

    This book looks daunting, but is in fact as quick as a novel. You will fall right into the drama of four very different men, all looking to be the President but in fact become a force to be reckend with as they form the first team of opposites. Lincoln's rise to the top at first appears to his 'team' seems unfair given their advantages, but Lincoln's supreme ability to understand humanity actually gives him the edge. Give this massive, yet wonderful book a try. If you love history this book will engage your mind and fill in some time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    shows the greatness of lincoln

    I have read scores of books on Lincoln since I was a small boy. This book uses so many primary sources such as diaries and letters that you get to know Lincoln and how others saw him. It is hard to now understand how any intelligent person could be for slavery but reading this book allows you to see the way people thought then and all the factors to be considered. It makes Emancipation a more amazing accomplishment when the country was so bigoted. But Lincoln showed his true colors in his work to ensure the 13th Amendment was passed. Lincoln towers over his contemporaries in his ability grow and his understanding of how to lead. Lincoln's compassion is what truly separates him from his contemporaries and successors. He truly does belong to the ages. This book allowed me to spend more time with him and that is always rewarding and inspirational.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2006

    Well written and informative book

    This book was well-written and provided a personal glimpse into the Lincoln administration and all of the behind the scene activities. This book doesn't focus just on Lincoln, but also studies the key people in his administration and their families.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2006

    Buy the book

    A must read for the history buffs interested in the political drama during the civil war. Lincoln a genius, an understatement by far!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    Elegance in style and content

    No figure in American history has been more extensively profiled than President Lincoln. Yet, Ms. Goodwin accomplishes what I regarded as impossible. She has brought Lincoln to life in a way which seeme inconceivable, especially in the manner that she uses to show his relationship with rivals and colleaggues alike. She does it with elegance and style that transcends anything previously written on this great man. It may be the best ploitical biography I have ever read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2005

    Excellent Lincoln Book

    What a great read! Goodwin tells the story of Lincoln's rise to the presidency and the use of his unparalleled political talents. We get great backgorund information on the men who would form his super war time cabinet: Seward, Stanton, Chase, Bates and more. You finish the book with a profound respect for the person of Abraham Lincoln. What made Lincoln so great in the end was his ability to deal successfully with so many differnt types of people and issues, and pragmatically make the right decisions with a keene sense of timing. Happy reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2012

    Well Researched and Articulated Work!

    It was obvious right from the beginning of my reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, it was very well researched and I had no trouble at all turning the pages. She developed each of the key rivals of President Lincoln extremely well, and provided an indepth window to the world in which Lincoln lived and the challenges he faced. I have always been an admirer of Abraham Lincoln and thought he was our greatest President--after reading this book I am convinced he was our greatest President and even more convinced that he truly was a gifted man of great character. However, I believe, as with the case of many people, his faith seemed to become settled and stronger in God as he progressed down the road of life. The way Ms. Goodwin presents the circumstances in which Lincoln was raised, the challenges and adversity he faced, coupled with the way he treated his fellow man, convinces me more than ever that only a man with a settled belief in God on a solid foundation, could have endured what Lincoln went through and responded the way he did. He truly was a remarkable man. I don't want to short change this book by only speaking of Lincoln, because Ms Goodwin does an excellent job of explaining other key characters of the age that made up the "Team of Rivals"--Seward, Stanton, Chase, Bates, etc. This is a wonderful book and well worth your investment and time devoted to read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This book is great reading material. It took me about a week to read thru, due to the content, but a great book. It's filled with lots of information I never knew, and the book really describes the hardships during our countries greatest struggle. I definatley recommend this book to anyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Shedding new light on the life of Abraham Lincoln

    For a political junkie, reading Goodwin's books are like reading poetry and Team of Rivals is no different. This is not just another book on Abraham Lincoln - this book focuses on Lincoln's leadership style and his insightful understanding of human behavior and motivation.

    Goodwin shows us Lincoln's political genius by looking at three men in his cabinet - all of them opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860 - William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. All three men had been humiliated by losing the election to a "backwoods" lawyer from Illinois.

    Lincoln was able to persuade these men to join his administration and he eventually earned their admiration and respect. Seward became Secretary of State, Chase became Secretary of the Treasury and Bates was the Attorney General.

    At over 900 pages, this book is not for the faint of heart, but if you love reading political history, it is an excellent view into an often ignored component of the Lincoln administration.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Review for team of rivals

    I have to say i totally enjoyed Team of Rivals. This book taught me what Abraham Lincoln had to go through to keep the temperment of the country to a safe level in such dire times. He was the right president at the right time. This book was eye opening and i could not stop reading it. The historical value is priceless. You learn so much about what the people and the ones in charge had to go through during the civil war. It was huge, and it was handled magnificantly. Our President did what needed to be done with careful consideration. I highly recommend this book to all who love history and just want to learn about an important time in our History as a country, this is so intriging but all of it is true, it holds your interest all through this book. I love it and would read it again and again

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Thank You Doris Goodwin!

    ...For finally giving us a thought provoking, historical retrospective that is not a dull, mundane "history lesson". While this is the first of Ms. Goodwin's books that I have read, I am now anxious to read more of her work. Her writing style is both informative and provocative. I wanted to keep reading. So many other writers are dry and mundane, however her style immediately hooks the reader and keeps one interested as only some novels can do. <BR/>Thank you Doris, I have a new appreciation for historical literature. You have made me a better person!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 174 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 9