Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Simon & Schuster | October 25, 2005 | Hardcover

5 out of 5 rating. 4 Reviews
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Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln''s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

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, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln''s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation''s history.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 944 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.97 in

Published: October 25, 2005

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684824906

ISBN - 13: 9780684824901

Found in: Biography and Memoir
I love political biography so it is not surprising that when a book in this genre comes out, written by a great historian who happens to be a great storyteller, I will jump at the chance to get my hands on it. But, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln is more than just a great book; and, one doesn't have to be a political junkie to get totally into this story. Team of Rivals is first and foremost the story of President Lincoln and those with whom he worked and competed - succeeded and failed. To be sure, it is full of extraordinary moments of history, intimate views of life in the mid 1800s, and incredible interactions between six highly interesting men. But it is best as a story of leadership. And it seems to me that now, more than ever, we need to remind ourselves what great political leadership really looks like. Lincoln had tenacity, he had vision, he was a leader of men and a manager of process. He had courage and that rare combination of confidence and humility. Without doubt, he was a politician who could read the tea-leaves of public sentiment and knew how to play the game. And when it really counted – he knew how to lead. Goodwin also makes clear that Lincoln understood failure. He had lots of it. And he knew that failure is simply an interpretation of status and events at a moment in time. Anyone who cares about the world we live in – and believes each of us has a responsibility to help shape it – will be captivated by this book. Anyone who wants to lead – or wants to be in the company of good leaders – will be inspired by this book. And of course, anyone who loves great biography – well, you are in for a treat.

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– More About This Product –

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 944 Pages, 5.91 × 9.06 × 1.97 in

Published: October 25, 2005

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0684824906

ISBN - 13: 9780684824901

About the Book

An acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian ("No Ordinary Time") illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman/prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become President. black-and-white photos.

Read from the Book

Chapter 1: Four Men Waiting On May 18, 1860, the day when the Republican Party would nominate its candidate for president, Abraham Lincoln was up early. As he climbed the stairs to his plainly furnished law office on the west side of the public square in Springfield, Illinois, breakfast was being served at the 130-room Chenery House on Fourth Street. Fresh butter, flour, lard, and eggs were being put out for sale at the City Grocery Store on North Sixth Street. And in the morning newspaper, the proprietors at Smith, Wickersham & Company had announced the arrival of a large spring stock of silks, calicos, ginghams, and linens, along with a new supply of the latest styles of hosiery and gloves. The Republicans had chosen to meet in Chicago. A new convention hall called the "Wigwam" had been constructed for the occasion. The first ballot was not due to be called until 10 a.m. and Lincoln, although patient by nature, was visibly "nervous, fidgety, and intensely excited." With an outside chance to secure the Republican nomination for the highest office of the land, he was unable to focus on his work. Even under ordinary circumstances many would have found concentration difficult in the untidy office Lincoln shared with his younger partner, William Herndon. Two worktables, piled high with papers and correspondence, formed a T in the center of the room. Additional documents and letters spilled out from the drawers and pigeonholes of an outmoded secretary in the corner. When he neede
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Table of Contents

Contents

Maps and Diagrams

Introduction

Part I THE RIVALS

1 Four Men Waiting

2 The "Longing to Rise"

3 The Lure of Politics

4 "Plunder & Conquest"

5 The Turbulent Fifties

6 The Gathering Storm

7 Countdown to the Nomination

8 Showdown in Chicago

9 "A Man Knows His Own Name"

10 "An Intensified Crossword Puzzle"

11 "I Am Now Public Property"

Part II MASTER AMONG MEN

12 "Mystic Chords of Memory": Spring 1861

13 "The Ball Has Opened": Summer 1861

14 "I Do Not Intend to Be Sacrificed": Fall 1861

15 "My Boy Is Gone": Winter 1862

16 "He Was Simply Out-Generaled": Spring 1862

17 "We Are in the Depths": Summer 1862

18 "My Word Is Out": Fall 1862

19 "Fire in the Rear": Winter-Spring 1863

20 "The Tycoon Is in Fine Whack": Summer 1863

21 "I Feel Trouble in the Air": Summer-Fall 1863

22 "Still in Wild Water": Fall 1863

23 "There''s a Man in It!": Winter-Spring 1864

24 "Atlanta Is Ours": Summer-Fall 1864

25 "A Sacred Effort": Winter 1864-1865

26 The Final Weeks: Spring 1865

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Notes

Illustration Credits

Index

From the Publisher

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln''s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

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, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln''s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation''s history.

About the Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 4, 1943. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Colby College in 1964 and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University in 1968. She taught at Harvard University and worked as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson during his last year in the White House. She has written numerous books including The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, and Wait Till Next Year. She has received numerous awards including Pulitzer Prize in history, the Harold Washington Literary Award, and the Ambassador Book Award for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and the Lincoln Prize and the Book Prize for American History for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.

Editorial Reviews

"Endlessly absorbing....[A] lovingly rendered and masterfully fashioned book."

-Jay Winik, The Wall Street Journal

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