Team of Rivals – Book Review

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnTeam of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you think of Lincoln, you think of the Lincoln-Douglass debates, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and his tragic assassination. (Sorry, not a Vampire Hunter). You think of him as an example for leadership.

But how many people realize he was one of the best managers in the world by asking three of his political rivals to serve underneath him and get great results? Or how balanced he was in balancing political allies who were each other’s political or personal rivals?

I enjoyed this book a lot because the author looks at not just Lincoln, but the other persons with their own aspirations – Seward, Stanton, Bates, Chase, and other politically powerful families like the Blairs, and some of them have very big egos. Yet all of them were humbled and realized just how much wiser and stronger Lincoln was. There would be no powers behind the throne. Lincoln alone was the boss, but he depended on rivals turned friends to do their job to run the Union during the Civil War.

Former President Barack Obama really liked this book and seemed to have been inspired by Lincoln and this book to form his first presidential cabinet. While Obama and I firmly disagree on his view on religion, the military, healthcare, and domestic policy, liking this book is one thing we have in common.

View all my reviews

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