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Team of Rivals | Doris Kearns Goodwin | Audiobook Review

Why did I listen to Team of Rivals?

With today being Presidents Day, I wanted to have some sort of related post. When I started looking on Libby, I came across Team of Rivals. Abraham Lincoln was my fathers favorite president so automatically I thought of him. I also thought that the concept of this sounded interesting as it wasn’t just about Abraham Lincoln but also about the men who challenged him and worked with him.

What’s the story here?

Team of Rivals is about the history of Abraham Lincoln’s life intertwined with those of his advisories and collaborators. It primarily focused on his relationships with Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of State William H. Seward and second Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The first three of these men were his rivals for the position of president. After his election as the 16th president of the United States of America, these men slowly became his best critics, collaborators, and friends. Team of Rivals begins right at the start of Republican National Convention of 1860, goes into beginning of Lincoln’s presidency, through the ups and downs of the Civil War, and ends sadly with his assassination. It is a through look at what made Lincoln think, look, and act differently than any other president before him.

How did I like Team of Rivals?

Team of Rivals was really interesting for me. Yes it could a little dense at times because it packed in alot of information. Not only did I learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency but also about these four men who worked with him, critiqued him, and ultimately respected him. The author does a wonderful job of creating this juxtaposition between the opponents turned collaborators and the 16th president. Through this lense, I really got a feel for Abraham Lincoln’s humanity, philosophy, and spirit. The more time spent with him, the more the other men were humbly turned into supporters. His assassination as devastating to them as it was to his wife, children, and country as a whole.

How was the narration?

Team of Rivals is narrated by Richard Thomas and is approximately 9 hours long. I listened to it at 1.5x speed and found it easily kept my attention. The narrators voice is filled with a rich passion for the topic. When he spoke I was engaged in what I was listening to. Admittedly this is the abridged version (non abridged is over 40 hours long) but I still feel that it is very informative. It is a condensed version of an impressive and inspiring look at what made the 16th president of the United States of America so different from those around him.

Rating: 5 Stars

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