In this highly original work, Ms. Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius as he rises from the obscurity of a one-term congressman/prairie lawyer to become president and prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation.
On May 18, 1860, William Seward, Salmon Chase, Edward Bates and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results of the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged victorious, his rivals where dismayed and angry.
Throughout the turbulent 1850s Goodwin demonstrates that Lincoln's success was the result of a character that had been forged by life 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 and 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 presidential 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 the 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 the struggle thatwas the Civil War. This brilliant,multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's ability to create a team out divergent personalities, and how that personality shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
Doris Kearns Goodwin won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. She is also the author of Wait Until Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. Steven Spielberg is loosely basing his upcoming Lincoln movie on Team of Rivals. She lives in Concord, MA , with her husband, Richard Goodwin.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.
Simon & Schuster
DVD 2005-11-12:Doris Kearns Goodwin
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