16 January 2009

Review: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin was phenomenal. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did was completely hooked.

Team of Rivals truly is a masterpiece. The book, as the title would indicate is about Abraham Lincoln, but in her narrative Goodwin manages to include dozens of other characters, and she does so with an amazing ability to distinguish each character so they do not become muddled for the reader. Her use of primary resources to create the narrative is astounding; the end result is a coherent story that doesn't require a history degree to understand and enjoy.

I closed the book completely satisfied that Lincoln deserves every ounce of praise he has ever received. Lincoln was a political genius. He managed to take his political rivals and make friends of them. Despite the many people who sought to assail him in politics, he did not hold grudges and maintained a pleasant demeanor toward even his most abrasive critics.

Those who served him loved him because of his love toward them. When he presented ideas to his cabinet he did so knowing that his ideas might be criticized and hoping they would be. He recognized that he needed other men of genius to help guide him in his political moves from the beginning of his presidency.

I have a new favorite president. (I don't know who the old one was).


from NC--NKL and Fam said...

I'm about 3/4 of the way through this one, and loving it (though moving slowly.) I'd love to talk more with you about it when I'm done. Nathan loved it too. Considered naming our baby Abraham...

Sherry said...

That's funny that you considered Abraham, because Lincoln is totally on my list of names!