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I just (finally) finished reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The book is about Abraham Lincoln and the men that would make up his cabinet. All of them at one time or another were political rivals of his. William H. Seward, who was expected to win the nomination of the young Republican Party in 1860 but was unexpectedly beaten for it by Abraham Lincoln, went on to become Secretary of State under Lincoln and also one of his closest friends and advisors. Salmon P. Chase would serve as Secretary of the Treasury and later as Chief Justice of the USSC. Edwin Stanton would become the Secretary of War and also became very close to Lincoln who referred to Stanton as his "Mars". Stanton's steady leadership was pivotal during the Civil War. Edward Bates would become Attorney General. Gideon Welles the Secretary of the Navy. The fiery Montgomery Blair became Postmaster General and would be a continuous thorn in Lincoln's side. Caleb Smith would be Secretary of the Interior. The men who made up Lincoln's cabinet were diverse and frequently disagreed. Not all of them had the same political views or agendas.

The book provides wonderful insight on the man who would become the 16th President of the United States. His calmness, clarity, ability to see the larger picture, the way he treated others and his gentleness were instrumental in guiding the union through its darkest day. IMO, he's the greatest president had and ever will have.

One thing I learned when reading this book that I didn't know what that one of the main reasons for the formation of the Republican Party was the opposition to the Democrat sponsored Kansas-Nebraska Act which would allow the free expansion of slavery into new states and territories. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of American history or political history.