Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mommy Reads: Killing Lincoln

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

Killing Lincoln
Written by:  Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Published by: Henry Holt and Co., 2011
324 pages

From goodreads.com:
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 Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

*In honor of yesterday being President's Day I thought that I'd post a book review for an "adult" book that I've read recently, Killing Lincoln.  My children are still a little young to be reading them books about the Presidents that are simple enough and hold their interest (though I'd be interested in any recommendations!).  Since my daughter started Kindergarten this year I discovered that the school PTA has a book club!  While I belong to an online book club which I love, I had never participated in a face-to-face book club.  The February book pick was Killing Lincoln.  Now, this is not a book that I would normally choose to read on my own.  Honestly nothing about it sounded enticing!

So, I was very surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book!  Somehow I got through high school not really absorbing my history lessons.  Prior to reading this book I knew very little about Abraham Lincoln.  Not only did I find this book informative, as it recounted the days leading up to and after Lincoln's assassination, but it was written in a suspense-like format, so it wasn't just dry facts being thrown at the reader.

Coincidentally, my husband and DVR and watch Jeopardy every night.  Wouldn't you know that the week after I read this book, one of the answers to the a Jeopardy clue was "Mary Surratt!"  If you asked me prior to reading the book I couldn't tell you who she was.  After reading the book I now know that she was the first woman to be executed by the federal government! 

I enjoyed all of the pictures and illustrations in the book (though I didn't really look at the maps too much!) which helped to give me an image of what the characters looked like.   I know that Bill O'Reilly came under fire for some inaccuracies in this book.  I have no opinion of O'Reilly.  I have neither read any of his other books before or seen his show on TV.  However, for someone with little historical background of Lincoln's assassination I thought this was an enjoyable and informative read. 

If you would like to learn more about an historical event in American History and don't enjoy dry facts, then you may enjoy this book.  Like I mentioned, although I wouldn't have picked this book up to read on my own, I was pleasantally surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Mommy Rating:  1 1/2 thumbs up.

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