This was a really fascinating look at Lincoln's rise to the presidency. and how he ran the Union during America's darkest hours.

The book starts out by describing how both Lincoln and the three other presidential hopefuls in the 1860 Republican Primary race got to be on the ballot in 1860. Doris Kearns Goodwin does a fantastic job of describing the backgrounds of Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Salmon Chase and Edward Bates and how each one of them got to where they were, their history in politics, and what their political viewpoints were.

It was interesting to read how Lincoln wound up garnering enough support to win both the primary and then the presidency itself. While there were certain key events that ended up being strokes of luck, the book does a good job of describing Lincoln's natural ability to find political angles to get the followers and support he needed.

From a historical perspective, it's interesting to read about how the former Whig party dissolved into the Republican Party in the 10 years prior to Lincoln's inauguration. I had never realized how new the Republican party was when Lincoln became the first Republican president.

It was interesting to read about how Lincoln built his cabinet. He nominated his rivals to his cabinet to get multiple different perspectives on the many tough decisions he had to deal with as President. In truth, many of his cabinet members didn't get along and it was amazing to read how Lincoln was able to help keep Washington and the federal government together as the Civil War got started and then continued to be fought.

The book also talks about how Lincoln was able to corral his cabinet and prepare the country for his Emancipation Proclamation, and then later get the votes together for passage of the 13th amendment ending slavery permanently.

I really appreciated Doris' writing, It gave me a much better understanding of the kind of person Lincoln was and why he made such a great president aside from him keeping the country together and ending slavery.