Team of Rivals

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Author, Richard Thomas, Read by
Doris Kearns Goodwin, read by Richard Thomas and the author. Simon & Schuster Audio, abridged, eight CDs, 9.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-5474-6
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 10/01/2012
This production of Goodwin’s acclaimed biography enters the marketplace as a tie-in for Steven Spielberg’s latest Hollywood epic, Lincoln. While Goodwin’s book serves as the basis for the film, listeners of the adaptation may be puzzled that the narrative in this abridged edition does not include President Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to gain passage of the 13th Amendment—efforts that provides the centerpiece for a great deal of the movie’s storyline. However, the abridgment flows quite smoothly in its own right. Narrator Richard Thomas evokes an earnestness and dignity in keeping with the spirit of the material. He effectively conveys the personal bonds between Lincoln and his unlikely circle of advisors. In the case of Secretary of State William Seward, the emotional depths of the character’s devotion become especially clear via Thomas’s performance. And the narrator—whose tone remains sentimental without descending into maudlin territory—nicely tackles the sections devoted to Lincoln’s family life, most notably the attachment he maintained with youngest son Tad. A Simon & Schuster paperback. (Oct.)
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