Brian Dirck has a refreshing conclusion to his review of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s A Team of Rivals. He mirrors some of my thoughts on some of the weaknesses of Goodwin’s book. I’m sure some Lincoln scholars have noticed the same weaknesses as does Dirck, but for whatever reasons they don’t seem anxious to discuss them. Most Lincoln hobbyists, I think, tend to read her book and find confirmation of their own long held opinions, and so predictably gush over it. (Now, don’t get confused like one of my readers did – check his comment on this post, and my response – I’m no Abe basher. But he had faults.) Kudos to Brian for his objectivity and his willingness to state his thoughts publicly.
While I’m at it, I want to put in another plug for Russell McClintock’s Lincoln and the Decision for War (I wrote a little about it here). It’s the best examination of the days between AL’s election and the firing on Ft. Sumter I’ve seen so far, and it presents a Lincoln far more human – and far more believable – than Goodwin’s.