Dazzling tale about the atrocious murder of a beloved president, and the daring escape and eventual capture of the adored and vivacious John Wilkes Booth. Swanson does what few storytellers have been able to master: douse the reader with thrills, fascinating tidbits, and a keen desire to keep reading, all while they are wise to the ultimate climax. Even though I am aware JWB killed President Lincoln, escaped the scene of the crime, and was later killed by Union forces - I consistently found myself unconsciously believing this accomplished assassin may in fact get away, all while feeling (at times) sympathetic towards him! This was a superb read and I encourage anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in this historic event to read this excellent novel.
This historical non-fiction account of the twelve days following President Lincoln's assassination reads like a suspense novel! Swanson is extremely in-depth - down to the hour, even -- as he tells the story of John Wilkes Booth's final days. Plus, who doesn't love a book that can make you empathize with an infamous villain? Recommended by Sarah.
An outstanding account of the assassination and its aftermath. Swanson has a compelling style as a writer, detailing the various aspects of the attack masterminded by Booth meant to decapitate the government. What went right and wrong is explored, as are various aspects of the chase that followed as Booth and one of his men evaded the law. Pretty much required reading for anyone interested in the Civil War.
Enjoyable historical non fiction with a lively writing style by Swanson. Good choice by LFL for the One Book/One City summer program. Definitely worth the time. You will learn that Lincoln used to recite Shakespeare's King Lear, Hamlet, Richard III, Henry VIII, and Macbeth to his friends. Lots of quotes from the cast of conspirators, which really brings the 12 days alive.
A++ All the way….A must have Book in all Libraries - worth the long library wait and WORTH owing!
We were visiting the Lincoln Presidential museum recently and one of the ladies in the bookstore recommended this book. This gives additional information in terms of the actual escape attempt of John Wilkes Boothe and those that helped him. If you are a detail oriented person or are interested in who John Wilkes Booth was, this book will provide that.
James L. Swanson, co-author of Lincoln?s Assassins, here focuses on the events immediately after Lincoln?s murder. An angry, bitter, South-sympathizing Booth stumbles across an unforeseen opportunity, acts on it, and flees into the night. The next twelve days will shock a nation still reeling from the barely-ended Civil War. Manhunt becomes a gripping page-turner as Booth literally breaks a leg during his dramatic leap to the stage, cons his way across the bridge to Maryland, hides in the woods for days with his naïve accomplice David Herold, and makes a desperate bid for safety in the Deep South. Booth?s obsessions and hatreds, his deep-seated desire for fame and notoriety, his immense ego?not to mention his ill-luck and miserable mistakes?take center stage here, and the results are compelling. Swanson picks up where Manhunt leaves off with Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln?s Corpse.
Thought a little slow in spots, Swanson’s book reads more like an adventure novel than a dry historical retelling. There are lots of names in this book, but as long as you keep the main ones semi-straight, you can gloss over a lot of the different groups of manhunters.
Interesting but a little dull & long-winded for my taste
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