November 7, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Language: English

Pages: 944

ISBN: 0743270754

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Winner of the Lincoln Prize

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.

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.

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morning, Lincoln wrote his reply. This time, he issued “an open order” to Frémont to revise his proclamation to conform to the provisions of the Confiscation Act. Rather than allow Jessie to hand-deliver it, he sent it to be mailed. In keeping with Frémont’s own tactics, he made the reply public before Frémont would receive it. While Jessie waited vainly at the Willard for word from Lincoln, Francis Blair, Sr., visited her room. “He had always been fond of me,” Jessie recalled, “I had been like

against him.” Agitated, Stanton exclaimed that “he knew of no particular obligations he was under to the President who had called him to a difficult position and imposed upon him labors and responsibilities which no man could carry, and which were greatly increased by fastening upon him a commander who was constantly striving to embarrass him….He could not and would not submit to a continuance of this state of things.” Welles sympathized but was highly reluctant to join what seemed a cabal

administration. Though Republicans retained a slight majority in Congress, the so-called “Peace Democrats,” who favored a compromise that would tolerate slavery, gained critical offices in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Asked how he felt about the Republican losses, Lincoln said: “Somewhat like that boy in Kentucky, who stubbed his toe while running to see his sweetheart. The boy said he was too big to cry, and far too badly hurt to laugh.” The following day, with the

radicals”: “1 July 1864, Friday,” in Hay, Inside Lincoln’s White House, p. 216. 636 Lincoln handed Hay … “at once to the Senate”: AL, quoted in “1 July 1864, Friday,” in ibid., p. 215. 636 Lincoln greeted Fessenden … would kill him: William Pitt Fessenden, quoted in Fessenden, Life and Public Services of William Pitt Fessenden, Vol. I, pp. 315–16. 636 “If you decline … the nomination”: AL, quoted in “1 July 1864, Friday,” in Hay, Inside Lincoln’s White House, p. 216. 636 “Telegrams came

VIII, p. 374. 710 Stanton replied … “ ‘further off’ ”: EMS to AL, March 25, 1865, Lincoln Papers. 710 Lincoln’s presence … “of their triumphs”: NYH, March 28, 1865. 710 Lincoln seemed … “anecdotes”: Porter, Campaigning with Grant, p. 407. 710 “Mr. President … old grudge against England to stand”: USG and AL, quoted in Porter, Campaigning with Grant, pp. 408–9. 711 Porter’s naval flotilla … “Come along!”: Barnes, “With Lincoln from Washington to Richmond in 1865,” Part 1, Appleton’s (1907),

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