Before reading this book I think I was like many Americans when it came to knowledge of Lincoln’s assassination. I knew Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater while attending a play. I knew Wilkes was eventually apprehended and shot. Beyond these basic facts, I really didn’t know much.
I didn’t know what play Lincoln had gone to see. I didn’t know that Lincoln’s bodyguard had deserted his post. I didn’t know that several people turned down invites to attend the play with Lincoln. I didn’t know any details about Wilkes’ co-conspirators. I didn’t know that there are some who feel a member of Lincoln’s cabinet may have had some involvement. Reading Killing Lincoln filled in these and many, many other details surrounding Lincoln’s last days, his assassination, and the aftermath. I had a little trouble getting into the book at first, but soon enough it became a page-turner for me as I got into the story surrounding the history of one of the most tragic events in our nation’s past. Well worth reading.
Summary from Amazon
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 Lincolnis history that reads like a thriller.