Monday, June 4, 2012

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

This book tells the story of how a virtually unknown prairie lawyer is elected to the office of President of the United States over three powerful and famous politicians, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates.

Goodwin’s ten year study of the life of Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet reveals details of Lincoln’s life, how he was raised, fell in love and dealt with situations of monumental historical consequence. His own experiences helped him understand and work with people from all walks of life.

Lincoln put together a cabinet of men who were once his opponents. These men became a “team of rivals.” This book includes not only the biography of Lincoln but tells of the lives of Seward, Chase and Bates, Mary Lincoln, the Lincoln children and the extended members of the Lincoln family. It tells of the heartache of the choices made during the Civil War, loss of family and friends, and how Lincoln’s decisions as president shaped the history of our nation.

Goodwin is a gifted storyteller. Her book, Team of Rivals, won the National Book Critics' Circle Award in 2005, and  is the basis for a Steven Spielberg movie which is projected to be released in 2012.

Reviewed by a staff member, First Regional Library

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