Saturday, October 1, 2011

Noteworthy Reads: KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

This exciting page-turner can be read as a suspense thriller, a detailed slice of American history—or both. I chose the latter approach and found it lacking as neither.

The writing style is clean and straightforward yet richly descriptive in its presentation of people, places, events, conditions, and motives.

This telling covers the span of time from right after Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration through to the capture and punishment of those who conspired to kill him. This period includes the final days and battles of the Civil War, Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox, the plotting of John Wilkes Booth and those he gathers about him, the assassination itself, and the massive manhunt that is launched to apprehend all involved. As factual characters are introduced —ranging from embattled soldiers to stable hands and bartenders to wives and mistresses to the most prominent men in the country—their individual back stories, both before and after the central events of the book, expand both the depth and scope of the recounting.

All in all, I found this to be a fascinating, informative, couldn't-put-it-down read.
Full disclosure: I'm a big Bill O'Reilly fan. For those of you who may be biased the other way, I strongly recommend you not let that dissuade you from reading Killing Lincoln. You'll be short-changing yourself if you do.

Persevere — WD

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