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Monday, October 3, 2011

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever (audiobook) by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

An interesting history that has been told plenty of times before.

Read by the author, Bill O'Reilly
Duration: 8 hours
Published by Macmillan Audio

Probably no figure in American history has received more attention than Abraham Lincoln. Political commentator Bill O'Reilly was, in the early 1970s, a high school history teacher. He wrote this book out of a true passion for Abraham Lincoln. It is clearly not a professional work since it does contain many simple mistakes (for instance, he refers to the Oval Office when it was not actually added to the White House until the early 1900s).

I listened to the audio version of this book. To be honest, I was reluctant to listen to it since it is narrated by O'Reilly and I am not a huge fan of his work as a political commentator. In fact, O'Reilly's rather odd style of speech both made the read more interesting.

John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865)
The book tells the story of the last few days of Lincoln's life, including the flight of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia from the lines of Petersburg, the surrender at Appomattox Court House, the celebrations in Washington, Booth's various plots to kidnap and/or kill Lincoln, the assassination of Lincoln and the manhunt for Booth.

O'Reilly is known for taking stands on issues and defending those points of view loudly and vociferously. He does the same here. The historical figures are simplified: Lincoln is the long-suffering hero, Booth is evil personified (not that I sympathize with Booth, but O'Reilly comes on a little strong). The history is enthusiastic, if not particularly deep. His descriptions are strong and the story is paced quite well. Much to the chagrin of my ever-patient wife, I am a serious student of the Civil War (I personally own more than 100 books on the topic and have read dozens more) and I found the book to be entertaining, well-told and I even learned a couple of new things.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Killing Lincoln.

Reviewed on October 3, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. I love this book i really have a better person of President Lincoln i also have a clearer picture of racism that existed realizing not everyone thought slavery was ok. I realky imagined myself in the description i felt like i was in the war pacing with the president i was with Grant and Lee on the fields i was literally there. Again i loved this book i will read it again.