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Team of Rivals

Team of Rivals

Lincoln Film Tie-in Edition

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
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  • freshman reading
Soon to be a major motion picture, Lincoln, from Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning writer Tony Kushner, and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the President and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

The acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in a 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.
     Each had energetically sought the presidency. Lincoln succeeded 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.
     This multiple biography is centered on Lincoln’s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation’s history.
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • 8 disks | 
  • ISBN 9781442354746 | 
  • October 2012
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Lincoln the movie trailer

Team of Rivals focuses on how Lincoln's Mastery of men shaped the most significant presidency in our history.

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Reading Group Guide

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?
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About the Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Photograph © Eric Levin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She won the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II and is also the author of the bestsellers Wait Till Next Year, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband, Richard N. Goodwin.

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