Team of Rivals


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About the Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin's interest in leadership began more than half a century ago as a professor at Harvard. Her experiences working for Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House and later assisting him on his memoirs led to her bestselling Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She followed up with the Pulitzer Prize-winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. She earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning film Lincoln, and the Carnegie Medal for The Bully Pulpit, the New York Times bestselling chronicle of the friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts. Visit her at or @DorisKGoodwin.


Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize winner for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; The Home Front and World War II, presents a study of Abraham Lincoln that focuses on his unique political talents during the last decade and a half of his life. The author seamlessly intertwines discussion of Lincoln with her tracing of his three main rivals for the 1860 Republican nomination for President, Salmon P. Chase, Edward S. Bates, and William H. Seward. By placing these men in subsequent key cabinet positions, President Lincoln, according to Goodwin, transcended emotional and personal grievances while still retaining complete control of administrative decisions at the height of the Civil War. She asserts that Lincoln's keen ability to interpret people enabled him to reach compromise and maintain working relationships during the sectional crisis and throughout his presidency. Goodwin's use of primary-source materials is exhaustive (120 pages of notes and no bibliography), but her overuse of exact quotes often detracts from the flow of her analysis. This book should be supplemented by other Lincoln scholarship, such as David Herbert Donald's Lincoln, Phillip S. Paludan's The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, and Mark E. Neely's The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America. Despite its shortcomings, Goodwin's work will be a beneficial addition to public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/05.]-Gayla Koerting, Univ. of South Dakota Libs. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

This production of Goodwin's acclaimed biography enters the marketplace as a tie-in for Steven Spielberg's latest Hollywood epic, Lincoln. While Goodwin's book serves as the basis for the film, listeners of the adaptation may be puzzled that the narrative in this abridged edition does not include President Abraham Lincoln's efforts to gain passage of the 13th Amendment-efforts that provides the centerpiece for a great deal of the movie's storyline. However, the abridgment flows quite smoothly in its own right. Narrator Richard Thomas evokes an earnestness and dignity in keeping with the spirit of the material. He effectively conveys the personal bonds between Lincoln and his unlikely circle of advisors. In the case of Secretary of State William Seward, the emotional depths of the character's devotion become especially clear via Thomas's performance. And the narrator-whose tone remains sentimental without descending into maudlin territory-nicely tackles the sections devoted to Lincoln's family life, most notably the attachment he maintained with youngest son Tad. A Simon & Schuster paperback. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

An elegant, incisive study....Goodwin has brilliantly described how Lincoln forged a team that preserved a nation and freed America from the curse of slavery.

--James M. McPherson, The New York Times Book Review
Endlessly absorbing....[A] lovingly rendered and masterfully fashioned book.

--Jay Winik, The Wall Street Journal
Goodwin's narrative abilities...are on full display here, and she does an enthralling job of dramatizing...crucial moments in Lincoln's life....A portrait of Lincoln as a virtuosic politician and managerial genius.

--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Splendid, beautifully written....Goodwin has brilliantly woven scores of contemporary accounts...into a fluid narrative....This is the most richly detailed account of the Civil War presidency to appear in many years.

--John Rhodehamel, Los Angeles Times

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