Sunday, November 23, 2008

Team of Rivals

Matthew Pinsker says that Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals should serve as a cautionary story about how to form a cabinet.

Pinsker says that there "were painful trade-offs with the "team of rivals" approach that are never fully addressed in the book." As evidence, Pinsker cites the resentment of those that helped elect him, the infighting and sabbotage by some cabinet members, and the resignations of three cabinet members during Lincoln's first term.

Pinsker, who teaches Civil War history at Dickinson College, says that "... it has become easy to forget that hard edge and once bad times that nearly destroyed a President. Lincoln's cabinet was no team."

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