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Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Team of Rivals Quotes (showing 1-30 of 41)
“Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchman, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country - bigger than all the Presidents together.

We are still too near to his greatness,' (Leo) Tolstoy (in 1908) concluded, 'but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when its light beams directly on us.' (748)”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“An adult friend of Lincoln's: "Life was to him a school.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“(from John Hay's diary) “The President never appeared to better advantage in the world,” Hay proudly noted in his diary. “Though He knows how immense is the danger to himself from the unreasoning anger of that committee, he never cringed to them for an instant. He stood where he thought he was right and crushed them with his candid logic.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Tolstoy went on to observe,"This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skillful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character.
"Washington was a typical American. Naopoleon was a typical Frenchmen, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country--- bigger than all the Presidents t,ogether. We are still too near to his greatness, " Tolstoy concluded, "but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when it's light beams directly on us.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“(Lincoln reflecting on) George Washington's words: “It is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prospertiy. Washington advised vigilance against “the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Simon Cameron: “I loved my brother, as only the poor and lonely can love those with whom they have toiled and struggled up the rugged hill of life’s success—but he died bravely in the discharge of his duty.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Lincoln understood the importance, as one delegate put it, of integrating “all the elements of the Republican party—including the impracticable, the Pharisees, the better-than-thou declaimers, the long-haired men and the short-haired women.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“It is not until one visits old, oppressed, suffering Europe, that he can appreciate his own government, "he observed, "that he realizes the fearful responsibility of the American people to the nations of the whole earth, to carry successfully through the experiment... That men are capable of self-government.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Tolstoy went on to observe,"This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshiped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skillful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character.
"Washington was a typical American. Napoleon was a typical Frenchmen, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country--- bigger than all the Presidents together.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“while men are striving nobly in the West, the champagne and oysters on the Potomac must be stopped.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Elizabeth Blair of brother Frank: he could “not let even a great man set his small dogs on him without kicking the dog & giving his master some share of the resentment.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“A real democracy would be a meritocracy where those born in the lower ranks could rise as far as their natural talents and discipline might take them.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Lincoln was as calm and unruffled as the summer sea in moments of the gravest peril;”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition,” he wrote. “I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“For better than thirty years, as a working historian, I have written on leaders I knew, such as Lyndon Johnson, and interviewed intimates of the Kennedy family and many who knew Franklin Roosevelt, a leader perhaps as indispensable in his way as was Lincoln to the social and political direction of the country. After living with the subject”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“And Lincoln, as would be evidenced throughout his presidency, was a master of timing.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“We are now parents. The love for our offspring has opened up fresh fountains of love for each other. Edwin Stanton to his wife.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Modernizing the postal service was particularly important for the soldiers, who relied on letters, newspapers, and magazines from home to sustain morale.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“One-time rival and subsequent usurper Secretary of State Seward finally settled into an assessment of Lincoln that, "His confidence and compassion increase every day.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“This, then, is a story of Lincoln’s political genius revealed through his extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously opposed him; to repair injured feelings that, left untended, might have escalated into permanent hostility; to assume responsibility for the failures of subordinates; to share credit with ease; and to learn from mistakes. He possessed an acute understanding of the sources of power inherent in the presidency, an unparalleled ability to keep his governing coalition intact, a tough-minded appreciation of the need to protect his presidential prerogatives, and a masterful sense of timing.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Moreover, Lincoln possessed an uncanny understanding of his shifting moods, a profound self-awareness that enabled him to find constructive ways to alleviate sadness and stress. Indeed, when he is compared with his colleagues, it is clear that he possessed the most even-tempered disposition of them all.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“When resentment and contention threatened to destroy his administration, he refused to be provoked by petty grievances, to submit to jealousy, or to brood over perceived slights. Through the appalling pressures he faced day after day, he retained an unflagging faith in his country’s cause.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Lincoln replied that he was more than willing to die, but that he had “done nothing to make any human being remember that he had lived, and that to connect his name with the events transpiring in his day and generation and so impress himself upon them as to link his name with something that would redound to the interest of his fellow man was what he desired to live for.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Discipline and keen insight had once again served Lincoln most effectively. By regulating his emotions and resisting the impulse to strike back at Chase when the circular first became known, he gained time for his friends to mobilize the massive latent support for his candidacy. Chase’s aspirations were crushed without Lincoln’s direct intrusion. He had known all along that his treasury secretary was no innocent, but by seeming to accept Chase’s word, he allowed the secretary to retain some measure of his dignity while the country retained his services in the cabinet. Lincoln himself would determine the appropriate time for Chase’s departure.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“LINCOLN’S ABILITY TO RETAIN his emotional balance in such difficult situations was rooted in an acute self-awareness and an enormous capacity to dispel anxiety in constructive ways.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“The histories and tragedies of Shakespeare that Lincoln loved most dealt with themes that would resonate to a president in the midst of civil war: political intrigue, the burdens of power, the nature of ambition, the relationship of leaders to those they governed. The plays illuminated with stark beauty the dire consequences of civil strife, the evils wrought by jealousy and disloyalty, the emotions evoked by the death of a child, the sundering of family ties or love of country.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Having hope,” writes Daniel Goleman in his study of emotional intelligence, “means that one will not give in to overwhelming anxiety, a defeatist attitude, or depression in the face of difficult challenges or setbacks.” Hope is “more than the sunny view that everything will turn out all right”; it is “believing you have the will and the way to accomplish your goals.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“Lincoln had internalized the pain of those around him—the wounded soldiers, the captured prisoners, the defeated Southerners. Little wonder that he was overwhelmed at times by a profound sadness that even his own resilient temperament could not dispel.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
“A prominent Chicago politician, Justin Butterfield, asked if he was against the Mexican War, replied: “no, I opposed one War [the War of 1812]. That was enough for me. I am now perpetually in favor of war, pestilence and famine.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

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