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391 of 416 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lincoln Cabinet: A Character Study, December 1, 2005
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This review is from: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Hardcover)
Ms. Goodwin has created a gem of a masterpiece with her most recent book on Lincoln. In the millions of pages already written on the subject, there are no books that I know of that do in essence, a character study on Lincoln and his cabinet members. The 754 page text is one of the best ever written regarding the true and underlying nature of those men who served with Lincoln in his cabinet.

While events and persons such as Antietam, Jefferson Davis, Fort Sumter, Maryland's secession attempt and many other events receive short shrift from Ms. Goodwin, this treatment is as it should be for her book concentrates on the personality and character of Lincoln and his cabinet.

While Lincoln never committed himself during the convention to any of his rivals in terms of cabinet positions, to gain votes for his eventual nomination; he voluntarily chose most of his cabinet from men who were his greatest rivals for the Presidency. He did this with clear and present knowledge that they were the best men for the jobs and the country at the time. The incredibly impressive exposition of the character of these men and especially that of Abraham Lincoln and his political and personal acumen in holding them together is given new life in this book.

Through careful reading and perusal of literally thousands of personal letters from cabinet members and from President Lincoln, Goodwin is able to put together a wonderfully clear and unique picture of the character of these men. In addition, she is able to paint a picture of each in words, and point out how their true character differed often from the public perception that abounded.

Ms. Goodwin should be noted for her fine and excruciating work in creating this book which will remain as a must read classic for Lincoln scholars of the present and the future. All of us who track the Lincoln Presidency, 140 years after its termination are grateful for her assiduous work in creating this wonderful book.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 19, 2008 9:11:07 AM PDT
Joseph says:
This is an excellent review of the book. I appreciate reading these reviews before I commit to buy a text.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 6:52:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 31, 2010 9:46:44 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 4, 2009 6:49:07 AM PDT
Joe Butson says:
You are so far OT and I will altogether avoid wasting time on such trivialities.

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 7:43:50 PM PDT
AAA says:
I've been reading this book and wow is it long but it's true it's like your hanging out with lincoln.

In reply to an earlier post on May 14, 2012 6:20:23 PM PDT
Jon Linden says:
The book is extraordinary. And Ms. Kearns contribution to the Lincoln Legacy was that she found this cache of letters between members of Lincoln's cabinet that actually showed that the relations between the Cabinet members were quite different and many times much more amicable than history had assumed. It is one of my favorite books on Lincoln and his administration. Thank you for your comment.

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 2:42:53 PM PDT
You need to look up the meaning of "excruciating" I think.

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 3:01:18 PM PST
kelleher1 says:
This one of the most interesting and thought provoking I have ever read. Just unable to put it down. I, truly, feel I am living in this history.
Am looking forward to reading the Roosevelts'
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