Review of “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” is, by almost any measure, the most popular biography of Abraham Lincoln.  Written by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Team of Rivals” has been widely read and revered since its publication in 2005. Goodwin is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author and historian who has also written notable biographies of Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Although focused on Abraham Lincoln, this book is a skillfully-crafted multiple biography of Lincoln and his three key rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 1860. William Seward, Edward Bates and Salmon Chase each became key members of Lincoln’s cabinet, and each contributed greatly to both the strength and the dissonance which infused his administration. How Lincoln harnessed the capabilities of this unique coalition of talented, but fiercely competitive, voices is the subject of much…

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