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Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever [Hardcover]

Bill O'Reilly , Martin Dugard
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2011

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.


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Review

"As a history major, I wish my required reading had been as well written as this truly vivid and emotionally engaging account of Lincoln's assassination. And as a former combat infantry officer, I found myself running for cover at the Civil War battle scenes. This is the story of an American tragedy that changed the course of history.  If you think you know this story, you don't until you’ve read Killing Lincoln.  Add historian to Bill O’Reilly’s already impressive résumé."—Nelson DeMille, author of The Lion and The Gold Coast

"Killing Lincoln is a must read historical thriller.  Bill O'Reilly recounts the dramatic events of the spring of 1865 with such exhilarating immediacy that you will feel like you are walking the streets of Washington, DC, on the night that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln.  This is a hugely entertaining, heart-stopping read."—Vince Flynn, author of American Assassin

"If Grisham wrote a novel about April 1865…it might well read like Killing Lincoln."—Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek

"[Killing Lincoln] delivers a taut, action-packed narrative with cliff-hangers aplenty..."--The Christian Science Monitor

"[Killing Lincoln] is nonfiction, albeit told in white-knuckled, John Grisham-like style."--New York Post

About the Author

Bill O'Reilly is the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor, the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He also writes a syndicated newspaper column and is the author of several number-one bestselling books. He is, perhaps, the most talked about political commentator in the country.

Martin Dugard is the New York Times bestselling author of several books of history. His book Into Africa: The Epic Adventures of Stanley and Livingstone has been adapted into a History Channel special. He lives in Southern California with his wife and three sons.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read For The Tale, But Do Not Quote the Anecdotes Oct. 19 2011
By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Killing Lincoln" is an attention grabbing history of the last days of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It focuses first on the cat and mouse game between Robert E. Lee, as he tried to find as escape route for his Army of Northern Virginia to the Carolinas, and Ulysses S. Grant who tried to trap Lee. With Lee's surrender the focus shifts to the Booth conspiracy and its target.

Author Bill O'Reilly gives the reader an hour by hour account of its subjects. We read of Booth's racism, his womanizing, his hatred of Lincoln and the step by step evolution of the conspiracy from kidnapping to murder. We follow Lincoln through the last few days of his life as he, along among his acquaintances, seems unconcerned with the assassination threat. While May Lincoln worries, the reader is introduced to each of Booth's co-conspirators.

The story is well told and read and the facts are fascinating. The thought of Robert Lincoln keeping company with Boot's secret fiancée boggles the mind. O'Reilly discusses various conspiracy theories without adopting any of them, other than the proven Booth conspiracy. My only reservation about this book is its obvious inaccuracies. Lincoln is repeatedly mentioned as being in the Oval Office, a room constructed during the Theodore Roosevelt Administration, forty years later. We are told that Dan Sickles killed his mistress's husband, but actually it was his wife's paramour. If this work cannot keep easily researched facts like that straight, how can we trust it to accurately report the obscure details that make this book so fascinating? Read it for the tale, but be cautious about quoting the anecdotes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rife with errors. Dec 13 2012
Format:Hardcover
Don't believe me?
A reviewer for the official National Park Service bookstore at Ford’s Theatre has recommended that Bill O’Reilly’s bestselling new book about the Lincoln assassination not be sold at the historic site “because of the lack of documentation and the factual errors within the publication.”
Stick to divisive politics, Billo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT Jan. 26 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very interesting part of American History, well written & looking forward to reading more. Will be also looking for this type of
Canadian history linking the 2 countries & what folowed after Lincoln's death regarding slavery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent historical perspective Dec 12 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book very entertaining as well as looking at the Assassination of Lincoln in a different light and to me unknown events.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This was fabulous!! Oct. 15 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Unbelievable how Bill O. makes one feel like they are right in the scene at the time. This book is riveting. It
is so detailed also in describing Booth who was never really described in character in the history books. I
saw the chair at the Ford Museum in Michigan when I was a little kid and until this day have been fascinated
by this wonderful man. I strongly advise everyone to purchase this most detailed in history, personal lives
of the characters, great description of the battles, and entertaining in content book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Grammer lessons Jan. 12 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
O'Reilly needs an editor in this read-through. One example--the word is cavalry, not calvary. And there are many more. It took away from the story. Also there is way too much supposition about the mental states of the characters. I wish he'd given us more quotes than the few he quoted from various sources. THAT was interesting.
Overall, way too long.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vaut le coup Nov. 25 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bien écrit et bien présenté. Mais c'est l'Histoire qui se répète et on n'apprend pas grand'chose de plus. Mais, sommes toutes, c'est intéressant.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 30 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Interesting, but not quite as interesting as " Mrs Kennedy and Me".
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