by Doris Kearns Goodwin

It was the theme of high ideals operating through raw practicality that intrigued me in this book about Abraham Lincoln’s presidency during the Civil War. Lincoln surrounds himself with cabinet members who think themselves not only more intelligent and politically savvy than he, but in the overall more suited to the Presidency—and thus the paradoxical title, Team of Rivals. Through deft political moves, all the while keeping to his lofty principles, Lincoln gradually gains their cooperation and even admiration. His gift for weaving those ideals through the fabric of real-world practicalities brought to mind another master of this art, our own St. Vincent de Paul.