Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Review: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L Swanson

Title: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer
Author: James L. Swanson (Read by Richard Thomas)
Genre: Fiction
Challenges: 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, Book Around the States Challenge, US Presidents Reading Project, Monthly Mixer Mele, Read and Review Challenge 2010, 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, 100 + Reading Challenge, Audio Book Challenge 2010, Pages Read 2010, American Civil War Challenge,
Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 367
Published: 2006

Back Cover: The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history – the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin let Union cavalry troops on a wild, twelve-day chase from the streets of Washington DC, across the swaps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, America’s notorious villain. A confederate sympathizer and member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame, wealth, and promise for a chance to avenge the South’s defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the man hunters, slipping away from their every move and denying the justice they sought.

Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you’ve never read it before.

Mine: What an intriguing book, I’ve always been interested in anything Lincoln, but was a wonderful way to learn more about the background of JW Booth. Too learn he was a southern sympathizer and had plotted to try to kidnap Lincoln before he finally killed him. That he led them on such a long chase and the troops were so close several times. Fate helped Booth in that he actually went the wrong way up the river in the beginning and was able to hide out longer.

The key player of the day - Seward ran the military and set the wheels in motion to have Booth captured. The Vice President was reluctant to take on the role of President and did let Seward go after Booth. There was a great plan to kill several other key officials, but the conspirators couldn’t go through with they assignments.

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