This reading group guide for Team of Rivals includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Doris Kearns Goodwin. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Introduction Team of Rivals
is a biographical portrait of President Abraham Lincoln and the men who served with him in his cabinet from 1861 to 1865. Three of his cabinet members, Secretary of State William H. Seward, Attorney General Edward Bates, and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, had previously run against Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals
focuses on Lincoln’s mostly successful attempts to reconcile conflicting personalities and political factions on the path to the abolition of slavery and victory in the Civil War. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1.Letters and diaries provided the greatest resource for Doris Kearns Goodwin in recreating the emotional lives of Lincoln and his cabinet. What will historians 200 years from now use to recreate our inner lives?
2.What are the leadership lessons that our new president can learn from a study of Lincoln’s emotional intelligence and political skills?