C.D. Sutherland's Reviews > Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly
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Jun 04, 12

Read in June, 2012

Obviously this book is good, because it sells at a volume coveted by most any author.

I read the book before I read the reviews. Bill O'Reilly is a polarizing figure, but I've based my review on my reading experience of KILLING LINCOLN and not how I feel about anything the author(s) has said outside of the book's cover.

Though I have a graduate degree in history, there were details in this book that were new to me. The style of writing kept me engaged more like a good novel, as the historic personalities became people, people with strengths and flaws. The pursuit of Lee's starving army and the needless battle to burn a nonburnable bridge was ironic yet typical of reactive, impromptu military actions through out the ages.

I'd never read the assault on Seward described in such vivid, bloody detail--very well done.

Booth, the primary antagonist, took on an all-too-real persona for me. His anger and desire to accomplish something to change the world seemed to mirror some modern-day figures, people who have basked in relative comfort, pretending to be something they aren't, nevertheless receiving praise and fame from the masses for that pretending. The strategic mistake Booth made was actually believing his make-believe skills would function in a real world scenario. The misery which plagued him during his last days and hours, was not worth losing a great statesman, that is Lincoln, but in a sadistic way, it helped to see him reap a little of what he sowed.

Feeling some comfort in that, caused me to take an introspective assessment of why I felt so. Eventually, I came to the conclusion it was all part of the author(s) desired effect. Bravo, I stayed engaged to the very end.

IMHO, any book that keeps a reader engaged all the way to the last page merits at least a 4-star.
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