Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin

Team of Rivals

By Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • Release Date: 2006-12-08
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 741 Ratings


One of the most influential books of the past fifty years, Team of Rivals is Pulitzer Prize–winning author and esteemed presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s modern classic about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln, his unlikely presidency, and his cabinet of former political foes.

Winner of the prestigious Lincoln Prize and the inspiration for the Oscar Award winning–film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, directed by Steven Spielberg, and written by Tony Kushner.

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.


  • Team of rivals

    By Bobbychris
    The book was wonderful! I learned so much history that I had not known. It is written in a style that makes the facts come alive.
  • Lincoln

    By waward1
    Wow, the best book ever written about our greatest president. Goodwin was able to reveal the real Lincoln through the eyes of his cabinet and many others. I feel I now know Mr. Lincoln on a personal level. It is time for a visit to Springfield to again pay my respects to this great man and president.
  • Team of Rivals

    By Dandrew71262
    What an excellent and well researched account of the life of this famous man. I found the pace of the book very pleasing and the content even more so. Days would pass without reading, yet I could easily recall my place in Lincoln's life. Congratulations to you, Doris Kearns Goodwin, on such a masterpiece....
  • Very well written, terrible presentation

    By pc7935747
    I am very disappointed with this book. I was impressed with the movie Licoln, but the presentation of this book is just plain awful. There is no plot, just names, dates, and facts. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
  • Amazing book.....

    By Nikhil1971
    Beautifully written book.

    By VIEJO56
    Prior to reading this fine book, I considered my knowledge of the 16th president "above average." After completing "Team of Rivals", I now fully understand what Daniel Day-Lewis, the actor who portrayed President Lincoln in the motion picture, meant when he said, "I never loved someone more that I never met as I loved Lincoln." I'm in awe of the greatness that was President Lincoln.
  • Team of rivals

    By 8310ts
    This is the best book I've read on Lincoln. I felt as if I was there. It is well worth your time to read this book. Excellent read.
  • Team of Rivals

    By Basblu
    This book is so well written and so well put together that it feels like a work of the finest fiction. Although I have read many tomes about Lincoln, I found myself in tears when he died of his wounds. I normally don't cry over history books. Kudos to the author! I hope to see more from her. And to top it off, she is a friend of the Colbert Report.
  • Five star writing, 3 star presentation

    By mikefao
    Goodwin has mastered the subject matter and presents a compelling and informative narrative. A must read for anyone interested in presidential history, political history, the Civil War, or American history writ large. But, for students of history, one of the greatest benefits of a work like this is the notes. Goodwin's notes are extensive, but (unless there is an issue with my download) the notes are not linked--you don't see the endnote number on the page you are reading. Very disappointing and frustrating.
  • Excellent

    By Robert654
    Book is very well researched and written, and engrossing. Be forewarned: the iBook addition does NOT contain any illustrations or photos like the printed version.