Natalie's Reviews > Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

Manhunt by James L. Swanson
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Mar 02, 2011

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Read in March, 2011

Okay, so I liked this book and there was a lot of new and interesting information. It's interesting to note that there were two other assassination attempts, both of which failed, and other men involved in the assassinations. The writer wrote it in a way that was very engaging. But the last half of the book was a bit odd. It seemed like the author was sympathizing with Booth. He even compared him to Christ in two instances I can think of. That's what really got me.

After thinking about it a while I can see why he wanted to portray Booth that way. He wanted us to see that he was a human being. He had a family who loved him. In his own mind he thought he was doing the right thing. He'd never murdered a man before. At first he was planning on just kidnapping Lincoln. But then the war ended. We have no way of knowing how the country was in that time. Brother fighting against brother for what they thought was right. Emotions were high and loyalties were strong. The South had such a strong culture loyalty and hospitality. It was crazy how much that played into people helping Booth. So I can see why Swanson portrayed him that way and could get past it, except those references to Christ really get me, that he would compare an assassin to Him.

After researching Swanson more it sounds like he really loves Lincoln, even shares his birthday. But he didn't say much about him. It even made me think he didn't like Lincoln that much. I guess he was just focusing on Booth. Swanson is also very dramatic in his telling of history. It helps the reader get into it, but, for my taste, he overdid his puns and cliches and all that.

So, I would definitely recommend this book. It's very interesting and easy to read, but I could do with a little bit less dramatization. Booth was an actor so Swanson kept making remarks about playing a part and drawing his last breath on the stage of life, and it started to drive me crazy! But other than that, it really was a good read. Lots of interesting information.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Seth I couldn't agree more Natalie. Interesting book, but the author's tone really creeped me out.


Reed I thought it was an interesting book too. They are making a movie about the conspirator's mother who was hanged. Very good review.


Natalie That should be interesting. They must have more information on her than was in the book to make a full movie about her.


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