Winner of the Lincoln Prize
Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Abraham 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.
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.
Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.
It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.
We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.
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.
Not the author's voice. Disappointed!
I am totally disappointed that this book was not recorded in Doris's voice. I know it would have been hard work for her but she would probably sell twice the quantity.
It is so important to hear the thought of a book, especially like this one from the author. This is what make the Audacity of Hope such a hit from the start.
Doris, you are a star and a guiding light. I hope you will come out with a version in your own voice. I will buy it again.
Abridged Edition, But Very Good
One of the top three books on Lincoln in my opinion. Like Lincoln, I am a lawyer in Springfield, IL. In fact I can look out my window and the preserved Lincoln-Herndon law office is right there. Goodwin is a great historian and author. She weaves into her work the serious history and captures Lincoln’s whole personality. Great use of primary sources as well as other sources. The anecdotal stories are very good. The full version is over 40hrs long. This version is 9 hours. The narrator, a well known actor has a very good voice and making it enjoyable to listen. Disclosure: Like the actor Tom Hanks, I am one of the closest living relatives to Lincoln. There are no direct descendants any more. At the Abraham Presidential Library and Museum there is a sign telling you this about Tom Hanks. Although we share the same common ancestor, there is no sign about me :- )
Team of Rivals
Excellent book ! Richard Thomas is a good narrator, though a different style of reading is perhaps more appropriate for this particular style of book.