Debunking "Team of Rivals"

Matthew Pinsker, someone I would characterize more as a political historian of the Civil War than a Lincoln historian, has stepped up to the plate to knock down Goodwin's meme of there being a "team" of rivals in Lincoln's cabinet.

Not to diminish Pinsker's editorial, but anyone who has access to cabinet diaries can do the same.

The special value added here is his pointing out the considerable political cost Lincoln paid by putting defeated competitors in his government - a cost that hurt Lincoln's effectiveness and thus - inevitably, one may conclude - the war effort.

The behavior of Lincoln scholars in this matter has continued to be utterly contemptible.