I do not usually read non-fiction books but, I loved this one! Full of facts that I did not know, including all the people that were attacked the same evening as Lincoln was killed. I really enjoyed the way the authors included information on popular conspiracies and the facts that contributed to those ideas. Includes an appendix with samples from the newspaper articles from this time period.
I'm always amazed when all the layers of historical events that you thought you knew about and understood are put together to create a complete picture of what's going on and the complexities of just what happening. I kept screaming stay home President Lincoln as I read this, but my cries, of course, were not heard nor heeded.
Good book, quick interesting read, for a story we all know how it turns out. Clearly, it is not a pure history piece, it is a description of a theory that is presented as fact. It is a nice novel about what the players in this national event may have been thinking and doing.
This was a very well written book. My only criticism was that the entire first half of the book was about the Civil War, specifically about Lee and Grant. Lincoln was barely mentioned in the first half of the book and it was more about the war tactics. I thought Lincoln should have been mentioned more often in the first half of the book and I wish they had talked more about his life before his assassination. Overall, a great read and I look forward to reading Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot.
Mary M. (emeraldfire) - , reviewed Killing Lincoln: The Assassination that Changed America Forever on
Helpful Score: 1
The American Civil War was an incredibly bloody four year long conflict, that mercifully came to an end in the spring of 1865. Amid the tremendous toll suffered by both sides, President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill President Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation. The former Confederates were allowed to reintegrate into American society with no ostensible repercussions to be visited upon them by the populace.
Simmering hatred and resentment still bubbled among a few members of society, even as America began the slow process of reconstruction and healing from her battle wounds. John Wilkes Booth - a popular stage actor, charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist - gathers around himself a similar group of four angry and resentful men who simply could not tolerate the outcome of the Civil War and the fact that Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States. A plot to kidnap President Lincoln, as well as several members of his cabinet, changed to an assassination plot on the night of April 14, 1865.
On a night of what was meant to be joyous celebration, Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and a group of their closest friends and acquaintances went to Ford's Theater to watch a performance of the play, Our American Cousin. At precisely 10 o'clock that night, one gunshot changed America's future irrevocably. A furious eleven-day manhunt ensued, as John Wilkes Booth became America's number one most wanted fugitive.
I really enjoyed this book. It was very engrossing for me, and was a book that I have wanted to read ever since it came out last year. I have always thought that I should increase my knowledge of American history, as I have been a naturalized American citizen since 1989. As I read this book, I found myself - a definitely staunch supporter of the Union - sympathizing with the Confederacy, because of the immense hardships that the soldiers of the South faced and struggled through during the Civil War. If I may say, as General William Tecumseh Sherman did in an address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy on June 19, 1879 - War is Hell! - for both the victors of any war, as well as for those who are defeated.
I would give Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard an A+! This book might not have been as interesting to me as my favorite book from September, Henry and Clara by Thomas Mallon was, but both books were so close together in terms of my rating system, that the difference between them was barely noticeable to me. I give this book five shiny gold stars! :)
Fantastic read. Bill lays out information in a chronologhical order, beginning with the week before Lincoln's assassination. He and his co-author (Martin Dugard) have researched this informaiton and brought it to readers and an orderly/easy to read format.
Unlike some other books, the authors have include information at the end of the book detailing what became of many of the people mentioned within the book.
History buffs may find a few flaws in this writting, but only because the information may contridict what they have been led to believe in the past.
Read it before you pass judgement.
As a history major, I wish my required reading had been as well written as this truly vivid and emotionally engaging account of Lincoln's assassination. And as a former combat infantry officer, I found myself running for cover at the Civil War battle scenes. This is the story of an American tragedy that changed the course of history. If you think you know this story, you don't until youve read Killing Lincoln. Add historian to Bill OReillys already impressive résumé.--Nelson DeMille, author of The Lion and The Gold Coast
Killing Lincoln is must read historical thriller. Bill O'Reilly recounts the dramatic events of the spring of 1865 with such exhilarating immediacy that you will feel like you are walking the streets of Washington, DC, on the night that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln. This is a hugely entertaining, heart-stopping read.--Vince Flynn, author of American Assassin
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American historyhow one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing 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. But 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 Boothcharismatic ladies' man and impenitent racistmurders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty 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 executionsincluding that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.
This book is a compelling look from many perspectives of Lincolns assassinatio. It puts you in the story which is always good for a book. I would recommend this book if you like history. The excerpts in the back from the original newspapers of the day are also fascinating.
I thought this was a very compelling narrative of the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination as well as the hunt for John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators. The book starts with the final days of the Civil War and the battles leading to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. This includes the role of George Armstrong Custer who I didn't realize was involved in those final battles. Then the story delves into John Wilkes Booth and his eventual plan to kill the President. I was unaware that Booth and many others were originally plotting to kidnap Lincoln up until the war ended which then led Booth to the assassination. As part of the plot, the conspirators also planned on killing Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward at the same time. Seward was actually viciously attacked in his home while recovering from a bad accident but the person who was supposed to kill Johnson backed out. There were also implications in the book that Secretary of War Stanton may have been involved in the plot. The assassination itself is also described in detail including the play the Lincolns went to see at Ford's Theater and the actors taking part. Ulysses S. Grant was originally going to attend with the Lincolns but backed out when his wife insisted on leaving the city. The hunt for Booth was also very compelling reading and the eventual fate of the conspirators included the hanging of the only female ever executed by the Federal Government, Mary Surratt, who really wasn't directly involved in the conspiracy.
Overall, I learned a lot from this one. I really didn't know the extent of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln and this book really shed a light on the whole story. While it was not as detailed as it could have been, it was a very educational experience. I'm not sure how much of this Bill O'Reilly actually wrote...I know his co-author Martin Dugard has written several other historical works so I tend to think he was the guiding hand in the book. In any case, I would definitely recommend this one to anyone wanting a good background on the assassination.