Customer Reviews for

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Justly Anonymous

The aspersions cast on Lincoln's character by anonymous -- especially the charge of racism -- is refuted in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Reply at Alton, in particular. They show him to be a man very much ahead of his time, able to think beyond the conditions and rea...
The aspersions cast on Lincoln's character by anonymous -- especially the charge of racism -- is refuted in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Reply at Alton, in particular. They show him to be a man very much ahead of his time, able to think beyond the conditions and realities of his day. True, Lincoln was no saint, for which these United States should give thanks.

Fear not, Ms. Kearns has done a fine job telling the story of Lincoln and his cabinet. Debunkers and cynics -- where would we be without them?

posted by Brownswan on February 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

I'm gonna get crucified for this...

...but, I am appalled that professional book reviewers are so starry-eyed about this, Ms. Goodwin's fanciful novel about Lincoln. The B&N blurb hopefully asserts, 'Her brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most s...
...but, I am appalled that professional book reviewers are so starry-eyed about this, Ms. Goodwin's fanciful novel about Lincoln. The B&N blurb hopefully asserts, 'Her brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.' Personally, I think Ms. Goodwin's idea of parallel accounts is a stroke of creative writing genius, but that is where her brilliance ends. In truth, she is just another shill for a President who is misunderstood, misinterpreted, misconstrued, misread, misapprehended and just about any other 'mis-' in the thesaurus. Why must every Tom, Dick, Harry and Doris repeat, time after time, the assertions of the virtual sainthood of the 16th President, when those untruths are so easily disproved? Is original research so difficult, that Lincoln's real nature is impossible to ascertain? The ignorance of Americans about their own history is, indeed, quite, appalling. What is even worse, is many seem to not care at all whether the account of history that they embrace is even marginally grounded in truth. I'm as much a fan of the history of the U.S. Civil War period as any other history buff, but I wonder, how long will it be before someone other than Thomas DiLorenzo retells the well-documented truth about the deep and fatal flaws of this man, who waged an illegal war, not only upon the American people, but more particularly upon the very heart of the American political system, Congress? It appalls me that he is seen as a liberator, when the very heart of his being was of the racist majority opinion of his day. Lincoln no more freed the slaves than did Washington cut down a cherry tree. Even the most casual reading of Lincoln's writings and speeches will super abundantly affirm the validity of that statement. I mean no offense to Ms. Goodwin, nor to anyone who enjoys her considerable talent, but words are simply inadequate to describe how disappointed I was in reading this book. I say again, I realize I'm going to be crucified for this review, but if you are inclined to disagree with it, I plead with you to reflect for a moment on just how incorrect is the general perception of Lincoln and give yourself the opportunity to learn something other than the tripe that was dished out to you in American history class.

posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2006

    I'm gonna get crucified for this...

    ...but, I am appalled that professional book reviewers are so starry-eyed about this, Ms. Goodwin's fanciful novel about Lincoln. The B&N blurb hopefully asserts, 'Her brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.' Personally, I think Ms. Goodwin's idea of parallel accounts is a stroke of creative writing genius, but that is where her brilliance ends. In truth, she is just another shill for a President who is misunderstood, misinterpreted, misconstrued, misread, misapprehended and just about any other 'mis-' in the thesaurus. Why must every Tom, Dick, Harry and Doris repeat, time after time, the assertions of the virtual sainthood of the 16th President, when those untruths are so easily disproved? Is original research so difficult, that Lincoln's real nature is impossible to ascertain? The ignorance of Americans about their own history is, indeed, quite, appalling. What is even worse, is many seem to not care at all whether the account of history that they embrace is even marginally grounded in truth. I'm as much a fan of the history of the U.S. Civil War period as any other history buff, but I wonder, how long will it be before someone other than Thomas DiLorenzo retells the well-documented truth about the deep and fatal flaws of this man, who waged an illegal war, not only upon the American people, but more particularly upon the very heart of the American political system, Congress? It appalls me that he is seen as a liberator, when the very heart of his being was of the racist majority opinion of his day. Lincoln no more freed the slaves than did Washington cut down a cherry tree. Even the most casual reading of Lincoln's writings and speeches will super abundantly affirm the validity of that statement. I mean no offense to Ms. Goodwin, nor to anyone who enjoys her considerable talent, but words are simply inadequate to describe how disappointed I was in reading this book. I say again, I realize I'm going to be crucified for this review, but if you are inclined to disagree with it, I plead with you to reflect for a moment on just how incorrect is the general perception of Lincoln and give yourself the opportunity to learn something other than the tripe that was dished out to you in American history class.

    9 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Justly Anonymous

    The aspersions cast on Lincoln's character by anonymous -- especially the charge of racism -- is refuted in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Reply at Alton, in particular. They show him to be a man very much ahead of his time, able to think beyond the conditions and realities of his day. True, Lincoln was no saint, for which these United States should give thanks.

    Fear not, Ms. Kearns has done a fine job telling the story of Lincoln and his cabinet. Debunkers and cynics -- where would we be without them?

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2013

    Excellent!

    Goodwin used both source material and extant biographies & histories when writing this book. She gets deeply into the personalities of the players & their relationships when describing the campaign & presidency of Lincoln. Highly recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2010

    Amazingly inspiring and insightful book about one of the greatest Americans ever born.

    This book shows the brilliance of Lincoln in his abilities to lead a split country. He clearly understood public feeling and individual feelings in a way that is unheard of. I think the greatest aspect of Lincolns character was his ability to forgive and forget and we should all try to emulate that quality. Clearly the people who wrote negative reviews didn't read the book because Mrs Goodwin covers areas of their complaints.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Team of Rivals- An Amazing Read

    This was one of the most amazing non-fiction books I have ever read. If you have an intense interest in Lincoln and the Lincoln presidency as I do, then this read is a must! I read most of it during the presidential election and was impressed by so many of the similarities between the time of Lincoln and the contemporary era.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Doris: Thanks for sharing Abe

    Great book !

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    The best history book I've ever read

    I was a bit daunted by the size of this book at first, but once I opened it I couldn't put it down! I learned so much about Lincoln and the members of his cabinet, but also about life in the mid-19th Century. The author's decision to concurrently explore the upbringings of the 4 Republican candidates opened a window into life back then, and some of the images of loss and suffering that were so common back then (nearly all of them lost one parent and child) will stick with me. I also learned a lot about Lincoln as a man and brilliant leader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Team of Rivals

    In writing Team of Rivals Doris Goodwin showed a wonderful grasp of this period of American history. Not only was she able to address Lincoln's masterful political sense of keeping his enamies close but her description of America's Cival war was indeed informative.
    The assassination of Lincoln once again brings home one of Americas sad realities of political life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Excellent

    Six hours in a road trip zoomed by. This is a fabulous book. Richard Thomas and Doris Kearns Goodwin do the topic justice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2007

    you will find what you seek, read it!!!

    As to the content of other reviews if you seek a balanced view you can find it in nuance if you SEEK a biased view you will find one in your favor or against your views (because you'll miss the nuance), but I believe the important thing here is that GOODWIN REVEALS the COMPLEXITY of the situation, the many internal and cooperative, and collaborative, and administrative/ decisive battles and struggles that had to go on for the civil war to EVOLVE from a fight to preserve the union (including keeping the right to slavery) into a fight to preserve the new union with slavery abolished once and for all... I marvel at the political acumen of ALL the characters/ historical figures and only wish we knew any of our current 'politicians' so well today. Enjoy, consider, debate... this is all good reading and scholarship.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2006

    Yeah but thousands of Americans died

    It has always puzzled me why Lincoln is held in such high esteem. More Americans died because of his Presidency. Slavery was not abolished during his Presidency. It appears from Modern revelations he was mentally ill. He won less votes than any other President. This book is just another attempt to go to so much trouble to cover up what is the worst point in American history.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 11, 2010

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    Posted January 20, 2009

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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