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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Many books have been written about Abraham Lincoln, but in Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin zeroes in on the his ability to bring disparate groups and men into his presidency and use their talents to hold the country together. It begins with Lincoln, the country rube winning the Republican nomination for president over favorites William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. Once elected, Lincoln invited each to join his cabinet, both to hold the Republican party together and to win the support of the various groups backing each of them. Goodwin shows the qualities that brought Lincoln from obscurity, his compassion, honesty, and ability to empathize with others, carried with him into the White House where he applied them to keeping his cabinet, and the Union, together throughout the war. Team of Rivals has received mostly positive reviews with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch review saying, "A gifted writer, Goodwin is persuasive in her analysis of Lincoln's handling of the political, economic, racial, social, military and diplomatic issues he faced."