book hack

Team of Rivals

Doris Kearns Goodwin

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Team Of Rivals explains why Abraham Lincoln rose above his political rivals despite their stronger reputations and how he used empathy to unite not just his enemies, but an entire country.


Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals

by Doris Kearns Goodwin


Have you ever gone through a rough patch in your life and later realized the experience prepared you for some future success? Few people knew more about the benefit of hardships than Abraham Lincoln. So Doris Kearns Goodwin is here to shed some light on this prominent figure's life.

At a young age, he endured the loss of family members and suffered a strained relationship with his father. However, these experiences only strengthened Lincoln's resolve and ambitions. In the 1840s, after Lincoln's party, the Whigs, split over the slavery issue, he joined the Republican party. Among the party's high-profile members were the outspoken statesman Salmon Chase, New York Senator William Henry Seward, and prominent St. Louis statesman Edward Bates. These men all became rivals in the 1860 race for the presidency.

Lincoln quickly built momentum while his rivals rested on their laurels, thinking him to be no threat. After becoming president, however, Lincoln managed to bring these disgruntled opponents together to create the most unusual cabinet in American history. He built a Team Of Rivals, if you will.

Favorite quote

A real democracy would be a meritocracy where those born in the lower ranks could rise as far as their natural talents and discipline might take them.

- Doris Kearns Goodwin

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