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Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Adult Nonfiction E457.45 .G66 2005

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From Publishers' Weekly:

While Goodwin's introduction is a helpful summary and explanation for why another book about Lincoln, her reading abilities are limited: Her tone is flat and dry, and her articulation is overly precise. But the introduction isn't long and we soon arrive at Richard Thomas's lovely and lively reading of an excellent book. The abridgment (from 944 pages) makes it easy to follow the narrative and the underlying theme. Pauses are often used to imply ellipses, and one is never lost. But the audio version might have been longer, for there is often a wish to know a little more about some event or personality or relationship. Goodwin's writing is always sharp and clear, and she uses quotes to great effect. The book's originality lies in the focus on relationships among the men Lincoln chose for his cabinet and highest offices: three were his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, and each considered himself the only worthy candidate. One is left with a concrete picture of Lincoln's political genius-derived from a character without malice or jealousy-which shaped the history of our nation. One is also left with the painful sense of how our history might have differed had Lincoln lived to guide the Reconstruction. Simultaneous release with the Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 26). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In an 1876 eulogy, Frederick Douglass famously-and foolishly-asserted that "no man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln." Thirteen decades and hundreds of books later, that statement appears no closer to the truth than when Douglass uttered it. Although Lincoln may be the most studied figure in American history, there is no end to new interpretations of the man. Shenk's and Goodwin's engaging new books are impressive demonstrations of that truth. Looking closely at Lincoln's entire life, essayist Shenk examines every scrap of evidence that Lincoln suffered from chronic depression so severe that he twice came close to suicide. He argues that Lincoln not only never conquered his depression but used it to channel his energy into his political work. Shenk's thesis may not convince everyone-including Goodwin, who takes a different view-but both arguments and his evidence are compelling. His is a fascinating story and one enhanced by Richard M. Davidson's forceful reading. Highly recommended. Nearly three times longer than Shenk's book, Goodwin's study covers much of the same ground but concentrates more on Lincoln's presidency. She argues that Lincoln's success in winning the election and in building an exceptionally effective administration lay in his extraordinary ability to empathize with his rivals. Much more than a biography of Lincoln, historian Goodwin's book also closely examines the lives of Lincoln's chief opponents for the Republican nomination-Edward Bates, Salmon P. Chase, and William H. Seward-all of whom appeared better qualified to be President than he. After Lincoln persuaded the three men-as well as other strong figures-to join his cabinet, it was expected that his former rivals would dominate him. Instead, the exact opposite occurred. Suzanne Toren's narration of the unabridged version is fine, but the book's sheer length may demand a greater commitment than many listeners are willing to make. As such, the abridged edition, read by Richard Thomas, may be a better choice for most libraries.-R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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