(CBS News) In "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin charts Abraham Lincoln's rise to national political life as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer overcomes his humble beginnings to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Each had energetically sought the presidency. Lincoln succeeded because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives. As the nation entered its most troubled period, Lincoln turned to his former rivals asking each to serve in his cabinet. Under Lincoln's leadership, they steered the nation through the Civil War and saved the Union.
This multiple biography is centered on Lincoln's mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation's history.
"Team of Rivals" has received the Lincoln Prize, the inaugural American History Book Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
The book has achieved critical and commercial success, from a presidential endorsement to being featured on the hit television series "The Simpsons." In November 2012, Steven Spielberg will release his new major motion picture, "Lincoln," which is based in part on "Team of Rivals."
"Team of Rivals" is published by Simon & Schuster. Simon & Schuster and CBS are owned by the same parent company.