As I always say, I’m a bit of a history geek. It’s not uncommon for me to be accused of being a repository of useless information. When Bill O’Reilly announced his book, Killing Lincoln, I admit that it didn’t really capture my attention. It wasn’t until some time later when I heard good reviews about it, and more importantly, when my lovely girlfriend bought the book for me, that I read it. I won’t say that I was surprised, but I was. It was not what I expected. Typically speaking, historical books have a tendency to be a little dry. You really have to interested in the subject matter or you risk death by boredom.
In this case, the book was written in a style I hadn’t expected. I had prepared myself for the standard historical text loaded with dates, names, events and other “statistical” type information. Killing Lincoln, however, it written more like a murder mystery. It reads like an engaging story that you can’t seem to pull yourself away from. It is, in fact, a fairly quick read (even for someone such as myself that struggles with words of more than three syllables). A large part of that is due to the fact that’s it’s difficult to put down.
The book is written chronologically from April 1, 1865 through April 26, 1865 (with the exception of the Prologue). It covers less than the span of a month, yet thoroughly details the actions and backgrounds of all who were involved in the assassination. If you enjoy history, I highly recommend this book.
Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
By: Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
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 history—how 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 Booth—charismatic ladies’ man and impenitent racist—murders 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 executions—including 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.
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“Abraham Lincoln Memorial” Image credit: ozgecan