Sarah's Reviews > Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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May 27, 09

bookshelves: 2009
Read in January, 2009

I sort of knew how this book was going to end (spoiler alert!), but I was still sad when Lincoln died. I picked it up because of all of the Obama hype, and I now understand why a president would want to emulate Lincoln. But it's one thing to say, this is the kind of man I want to be, and another, to not learn from his mistakes. Some of Lincoln's cabinet picks (and former rivals) worked out well -- Edwin Stanton and William Seward, for example. But things didn't work out so well with Salmon P. Chase. Chase couldn't set aside his own presidential ambitions in order to be a good Treasury Secretary. The guy was working on his own presidential bid against Lincoln from within the cabinet. Chase wasn't exactly a team player. After Chase resigned from his cabinet position, Lincoln rewarded him with a little job as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chase wasn't satisfied with this, and ran for president one more time before he died. Moral of the story? Lincoln's team of rivals was a good idea to some extent (these guys also happened to be great political minds, btw, he wasn't plucking some person out of obscurity, like McCain with Sarah Palin, e.g.), but maybe he should have been wary of picking someone (Chase) with such an intense presidential fever.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Autumn (new)

Autumn i had sushi yesterday at this place in chinatown where the lincoln assassination was planned. who knew they ate sushi in those days.


message 2: by Sarah (last edited Jan 05, 2009 11:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah interestingly enough, Lincoln wasn't the only one targeted in the assassination. Seward and Johnson were also going to be killed. The guy who was assigned to kill Johnson decided not to do it, and the guy who was assigned to Seward made a really good attempt. He stabbed Steward in the cheek, and the only reason Seward didn't die was because he'd recently been in a carriage accident and had a metal plate in his mouth. So says Kearns Goodwin, anyway. She was eating sushi when she wrote it.


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