Monday, January 28, 2013


Killing Lincoln by BILL O’REILLY & Martin Dugard

That is the way the title reads on the book cover. O’Reilly’s name is all uppercase and Dugard’s isn’t. That probably means Dugard did all the research work.
Actually, when you look at the book cover you will see O'Reilly's name is even bigger than the title.

The title of the book says it all. It is about the assignation of Abraham Lincoln and events before and after. The first third is the about the Virginia battlefield of General Grant and General’s Lee last war effort towards each other and the surrender.

Then the remainder is about the planning of the assassination and the study of the people involved. I think any American History fan would love this book, on every page ironic trivia and coincidental bits are told about. A lot of means nothing but is interesting. Like for instance it just so happens that after shot Lincoln was carried to the nearest available bed which was a house that rented beds to actors who came and went. John Wilkes Booth slept in the same bed Lincoln died in just a few nights before Lincoln died in it; and Robert Todd Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth both had an on-going romantic relationship with the daughter of a senator about the same time.

It is good, it is factual. The only peeve I have with it I think some factual things told were things that no amount of research could have told them, like personal thoughts of the key players. Some of it was reported was probably likely but factual for sure?

Another good part of the book is the Afterword. It takes all the principle players and tells what happened to them, including Mary Todd Lincoln. She lived “south of France in the town of Pau”. That is what the book said. If it is south of France, then it is not France. And if it wasn’t France what country was it? I’m confused.

Also after the Afterward is a recreation of Harper’s Weekly publication giving their account of it all.

315 pages, published by Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011

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