Saturday, November 24, 2007

Team of Rivals

I just finished listening to Team of Rivals - The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. While, admittedly, not for those with just a passing interest in Lincoln and the Civil War era of US history, Team of Rivals presents an intriguing look at Lincoln's cabinet which was composed mostly of men that felt they were better suited to be president than he.

Throughout the book Goodwin shows how Lincoln intuitively understood people and then placed them in positions where they could best serve during a time when their country needed them most. Lincoln exhibited a leadership style which was almost egoless and likely without peer in the history of our nation. Couple that with his legendary political acumen and you have the story of a man that seemed to have been plucked out of obscurity by Providence to lead the country through it's most difficult hours. Eventually, even Lincoln's most bitter rivals understood that he was the only man that could have held the Union together.

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