EW's Gilbert Cruz takes a lightning-quick look at ''Team of Rivals''

An Abraham Lincoln novel in 30 seconds flat

In Team of Rivals (Simon & Schuster, $35), historian Doris Kearns Goodwin recounts how Abraham Lincoln welcomed former presidential rivals into his cabinet. It’s 45 score and 16 pages long, so here are some choice bits.

Perhaps as a response to a recent book claiming Lincoln was gay, Goodwin writes that sharing a bed with another man for four years was common practice and that ”open expressions of affection and passion were familiar and socially acceptable.”

After his election in 1860 and the secession of several Southern states, there was such a fear of Lincoln being assassinated that he entered Washington, D.C., on a secret train.

Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address in two days, half of it probably on the four-hour train trip to Pennsylvania.

In 1863, Secretary of State William H. Seward asked Lincoln to remove the scheduling of Thanksgiving from the hands of state governors and declare it a federal holiday.

Team of Rivals
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