Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

I'm not a historian but I feel confident that I do know about the major events in history. And of course I know about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and who committed this crime. But after reading this book I realize that there are a lot of things I didn't know about this event. Swanson IS a historian who became fascinated with Lincoln at an early age because they share the same birthday. He lays out the entire plot by John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators including their plans to also assassinate the vice president and the secretary of state - which also nearly happened. Then the book goes on to trace Booth's escape and the massive manhunt to find him. Besides the great writing, the book is filled with pictures of the people involved and documents from that time to give the reader a real sense of what the country was going through and their fears that this was the start of a Confederate attack despite the fact that the war had ended.

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