Doris Kearns Goodwin’s: Team Of Rivals

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Book, Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius Of Abraham Lincoln.Team Of Rivals

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

Black Americans Honor Abraham Lincoln

In 1876, the celebrated orator Frederick Douglass dedicated a monument in Washington D.C., erected by black Americans to honor Abraham Lincoln. The former slave told his audience that “there is little necessity on this occasion to speak at length and critically of this great and good man, and of his high mission in the world.”

Douglass also adds: “That ground has been fully occupied…whole field of fact and fancy has been gleaned and garnered. Any man can say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln.”

Douglass speaking these words above, only eleven years after Lincoln’s death, he was to close to assess the fascination that this plain and complex, shrewd and transparent, tender and iron-willed leader would hold for generations of Americans.

Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass

In the nearly two hundred years since his birth, countless historians and writers have uncovered new documents, provided fresh insights, and developed an ever-deepening understanding of our sixteenth president.

1860 Republican Presidential Nominations

Doris Kearns Goodwin delves into the character and career of Abraham Lincoln, she has coupled the account of his life with the stories of the remarkable men who were his rivals for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination-They were, New York Senator William H. Seward, Ohio governor Salmon P. Chase, and Missouri’s distinguished elder statesman Edward Bates.

Taken together, the lives of these four men give us a picture of the path taken by ambitious young men in the North who came of age in the early decades of the nineteenth century. All four studied law, became distinguished orators, entered politics, and opposed the spread of slavery.

Their upward climb was one followed by many thousands who left the small towns of their birth to seek opportunity and adventure in the rapidly growing cities of a dynamic, expanding America.

Lincoln Wins Republican Nomination For President

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

When Lincoln won the nomination, each of his celebrated rivals believed the wrong man had been chosen. Ralph Waldo Emerson recalled his first reception of the news that the “comparatively unknown name of Lincoln” had been selected: “we heard the result coldly and sadly. It seemed too rash, on a purely local reputation, to build so grave a trust in such anxious times.”

Lincoln After Winning The Presidency

The Lincoln, after winning the presidency, made the unprecedented decision to incorporate his eminent rivals into his political family, the cabinent, was evidence of a profound self-confidence and a first indication of what would prove to others a most unexpected greatness.

Seward became secretary of state, Chase secretary of the treasury, and Bates was appointed as attorney general under the Lincoln Administration.

The remaining top posts Lincoln offered to three former Democrats whose stories also inhabit this book. Gideon Wells, Lincoln’s, “Neptune”, was made secretary of the navy, Montgomery Blair became post-master general, and Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln’s “Mars”, eventually became secretary of war. And of course he named a Democrat, Andrew Johnson as his Vice President.

Every member of this administration was better known, better educated, and more experienced in public life than Lincoln. Their presence in the cabinent might have threatened to eclipse the obscure prairie lawyer from Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln, The Captain Of The Team Of Rivals

William H Seward
William H Seward

It soon became clear, that Abraham Lincoln would emerge the undisputed captain of this most unusual cabinent, truly a team of rivals.

The powerful competitors who had originally disdained Lincoln became colleagues who helped him steer the country through its darkest days. Seward was the first to appreciate Lincoln’s remarkable talents, quickly realizing the futility of his plan to relegate the president of a figurehead role.

Edwin Stanton
Edwin Stanton

In the months that followed, Seward would become Lincoln’s c;closest friend and adviser in the administration. Though Bates initially viewed Lincoln as a well-meaning but incompetent administrator, he eventually concluded that the president was an unmatched leader “very near being a perfect man.” Edwin Stanton, who had treated Lincoln with the contempt at their initial acquaintance, developed a great respect for the commander in chief and was unable to control his tears for weeks after the president’s death. Even Chase, whose restless ambition for the presidency was never realized, at last acknowledged that Lincoln had out maneuvered him.

In Conclusion

This, then is a story of Lincoln’s political genius revealed through his extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with new men who had previously opposed him. To repair bitter feelings, that might have escalated into permanent hostility and would of greatly hurt his presidency.

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin takes you on a long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinent. He (Lincoln) overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, he finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through all the good times and especially the bad times.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln’s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation’s history.

My thoughts on the administration that we have today in America. If we had an administration with half of the insight and truth that Lincoln had, we might not be where we are today. It takes all types of people to run a government, and when you have a (dictator) person who thinks that having yes men only in his administration, than it will only set one up to fail. This country is to big and diverse to only see one side of it. I wish that we had the genius of Lincoln today.

If you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do below and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

Team Of RivalsIf you would like to purchase this book, please do HERE: Team Of Rivals

All The Best,



16 thoughts on “Doris Kearns Goodwin’s: Team Of Rivals”

  1. Hi Bobbi,

    To me, political books are worthwhile to read. To gain more insight of the world most powerful leaders and successful people. Learning their life values and strong beliefs. Getting over all the odds, prove the critics wrong and never give up. It is really very fascinating. Well, i had read books about successful people who attain financial freedom. In despite of life adversities, hardships and lack of high academic achievements. Then, i realised that there were more important things in life to persue besides money and power. It is a matter of passion in the things a person do for the benefits of others. Hence, i really wonder: Out of so many books, which one shall i choose to benefit most from it?


    1. Thank you David for your comment, and I agree with you, that wealth and money is wonderful, but my conscience means more to me than money, when I see what is happening in our country, let alone in the world today, it scares the hell out of me. A book that I loved for showing me how to react to my economic needs and wants and doing the right thing is Amity Shlaes book The Forgotten Man, you can check it out here and purchase it through Amazon through the links on this article I wrote up a while ago. Here is the link for you,… Have a great day and I hope I answered your question. Thanks again and have a great day.

  2. Hey nice article you have there. Thanks for sharing such an historic moment with the public. Abraham Lincoln is most famous for leading the country during the American Civil War. His leadership in the North helped the country to remain strong and defeat the South, thereby keeping the country united. He also pushed for the freedom of slave throughout the nation.

    1. Thank you for your comment, and yes I agree with you, he did keep the country united, but as we all know, society today has never been so divided, and racism is back like it hasn’t been since the  late 1940s and 1950s when McCarthyism was ramped, it is very disturbing to me, and our president says nothing, because he knows that his base of voters are racist, not all, but some. It is very disturbing to see a president of the United States say that white supremacists are good people. Anyway I could go on and on, but I just want to thank you for stopping by my website and have a great day.

  3. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your article as it contains so much valuable information and history one could hold on to, i do agree with you on this, the country is too big to just see one side of it

    1. Thank you Philebur for your comment, and I wanted to shed a light on how we as a country can be so much more successful if we learn to work with different political parties, the more we become divided, the worse we are, history told us that through the brilliance of Lincoln. Thanks again and have a great day.

  4. Hi there! As an history lover, I think I love this book so much because Abraham Lincoln was such an absolutely amazing person and also the book showed Mary Lincoln in a better light than I thought. I had always had the impression that Mary was a real stinker and while she definitely has her fault that must have been caused real difficulties for Abraham.

    1. Thank you for your comment, and I agree with you about Mary Lincoln, she was the opposite of Abraham in so many ways, but I think that they worked well together, because she did give her opinion about things that Abe was working on. That is what this book is about, working with others, especially the ones who don’t always agree with you. It has and never will be good to have YES MEN, all around a leader, such as we do today with Trump, it means that whatever he thinks is the way that the whole US thinks, and we all know this is not true. Have a great day.

  5. I know that finding a good article does not come by so easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and writing an article to help others with useful information like this.Abraham Lincoln was a man of valor,he was strict in his principles and he was transparent,lets dive into history a little,In 1865, Lincoln was instrumental in the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery unconstitutional. Lincoln also presided over the passage of important domestic legislation, including the first of the Homestead Acts, the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, and the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862.

    1. Thank you Wilson for your comment, and I couldn’t agree with you more on the history of Abraham Lincoln, and Kearns Goodwin does go into all his accomplishments as president in this wonderful book. The thirteenth amendment in my opinion is one of the most important amendments in the history of the United States. I hope to hear from you again and come back any time. Thanks again, stay safe and healthy.

  6. Wow! This is an interesting article that you have got here. Abraham Lincoln is a renowned and well respected leader  worldwide. Abraham Lincoln story is an inspiring one and his aministration was indeed a success. It will really do us much good if present day leaders could apply his strategy in fulfilling their role.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Awinikistevie for your comment, and as I said in my conclusion in this article, that I to wish that our political leaders would work together more when in office so that we as Americans (democrats, republicans, independents, liberals, conservatives, etc.) are all heard and helped by our leaders. No one person has all the answers, it has never been that way and it never will, we always work better with collective thoughts from different groups of people, then we make our decisions based on all inputs.

      Thanks again and I hope you come back to see some more articles that I have lined up to post. Have a great day. Stay safe and healthy.

  7. Hi there! this is an amazing content you’ve got here. Doris Kearns Goodwin waves a masterful tale as she followed the life of Lincoln and his intimate circle of friends and rivals from the early 1800s, through the civil war until catastrophe assassination of the president.

    I love this book and also the writer.

    1. Thank you for your comment, and yes I also love Doris Kearns Goodwin, she is an amazing historian with fact based works, and is truly one of my favorite authors on American History. Thanks again and I hope to see hear from you again. I am thrilled you enjoyed the article.

  8. Helooo dear, thanks for sharing these valuable content with us, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I really do fancy these post, I want to thank you for the hard work you put into bringing these website together and providing such useful information, thanks for the info, I’ll surely do some recommendations, I am really glad you shared these article with us, thanks alot

    1. Thank you Skuchmane for your comment, and I would greatly appreciate the share to others. I am trying to get the word out about our history and how we as a country could be doing better by working together on both sides of the aisle. Abraham Lincoln, way back in time, knew that, so why do we not try to work together, the political divide is so prevalent today that it is scary.

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