Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

About the book: The anchor of The O''Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of incredibly bloody battles. President Abraham Lincoln''s generous terms for Robert E. Lee''s surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln''s dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. One man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.

In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington, D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies'' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford''s Theater. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country''s most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a brilliant but enigmatic New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. With an unforgettable cast of characters, vivid historical detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

First line: The man with six weeks to live is anxious.

My Thoughts: I found this to be a very engaging, interesting and  easy read. I've never read an account of this event so the timeline in the sub chapter headings was helpful. At the end the authors included a re-creation of the April 29, 1865 Harper's Weekly that was devoted to the death of Lincoln. The feelings of the people were very evident and brought the whole thing closer to home. At the end I found lists of books that were used by the authors to write this however they were not cited in the book. I plan to read another book on this subject.

Quote: page 295 America is a great country, but like every other nation on earth it is influenced by evil. John Wilkes Booth epitomizes the evil that can harm us, even as President Abraham Lincoln represents the good that can make us stronger.

100+ 2012
5x4 Reading Challenge (presidents portion)
Mount TBR Reading Challenge

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