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Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tough Going, 15 April 2012
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This review is from: Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Kindle Edition)
I found this book difficult to get through despite really wanting to learn about Lincoln as a leader. I studied this period of history years ago at university but couldn't remember much about the main players who were sometimes eclipsed by the events leading to the Civil War. I wanted to find out if my understanding of what I believe to be the principles of leadership were basically the same then as I see them now.
Unfortunately, although the book is a character study of Lincoln and his rivals, I struggled to get a picture of the main players as human beings as opposed to near caricatures, not the least being Lincoln himself. The way they are portrayed is almost as superhuman compared to politicians nowadays - which may be true - but they are so educated, such great orators, have such a sublime understanding of their fellow men, are such hard workers and are so effortlessly popular, that you begin to wonder where mankind, never mind mere politicians, went wrong? After a while the endless hagiography became wearing, and "Honest Abe" began to irritate me as being too good to be true. It's not that his faults aren't highlighted, it's that they're washed away by the floods of praise about what an immense guy he must have been. Okay, so his marriage maybe wasn't great, and he wasn't too bothered about the plight of the slaves but somehow this adds to his greatness, doesn't it? That's the tone of the book.
At the time of writing this review, I've given up on the book and gone on to something else. I may go back to it, but I reckon I have hundreds of pages to go yet, and the thought does nothing to excite me.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Feb 2013 22:07:15 GMT
Bodo says:
Thank you J
Your review is helpful. I may yet read it but am now sensitised to your points and agree that I too would find such things irritating. I like how you come across as honest and genuine.
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