This was a natural after reading The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage. The story of the plotting of Lincoln's assassination, from the point of the assassin, and the ensuing account of his escape, 12 days on the lam, and eventual capture and death are told so well that it keeps the listener on the edge of his seat. The unwitting errors in navigation that led to Booth's capture make the reader realize just what a fluke it was that Booth was brought to justice, rather than disappearing into the deep South where he might have been hailed as a hero, rather than the cold-blooded killer that he was. On the flip side, the listener gains insight into the fact that Booth believed he was a patriot to a righteous cause, that of the lifestyle embraced by the South, and that his actions were justified. This is a "must listen" for any reader who enjoys American history or biography.
I've read and listened to many biographies of George Washington, his wife, and other characters important to the Revolutionary War period with whom Washington had intimate and political dealings. This was absolutely the best and one of the most spellbinding books I've ever listened to. And the narrator did a superb job. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the man, anyone who loves to learn about the history of our country, and anyone who thinks they know quite a bit about General Washington. I learned a lot!
I will count this among the very best books I have listened to. It was completely engrossing, and I dreaded having to stop listening to finally go to sleep. It was a tender look at both Martha Washington's thoughts and actions in her personal life AND her husband's little-known private words and feelings. For the majority who never realized what an inspiration she was to her husband, and how great impact she had in his life and our country's history, it is a real eye-opener. I never knew of the private heartbreak that Martha Washington endured in her life, having lost every one of her children over time, and the many other loved ones in her life that died. It was so typical of the times in American life, though, that illnesses, injuries, and diseases that we now have treatments and cures for were life-threatening just 200 years ago. Her strength in the face of those many losses was really inspirational to me. She made a conscious choice more than once to rise above the socially acceptable response of grieving, taking to bed, and generally becoming depressed. Her service to others, her husband, family, friends, and total strangers was also keenly inspiring. Her life was consumed with hostessing, nursing, and nurturing, and the author did a superb job, as did the narrator, of capturing her for the listener. Bravo!
This was one of the most interesting books, full of historically accurate and intimate details, that I have ever "read." The lives of two individuals and their subsequent marriage, when the two people are as interesting in their own right as Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is immediately engaging. Toward the end, this book brought back vivid memories of a childhood trip to Washington D.C. and our visit to Ford's theater and the boarding house bedroom in which President Lincoln lay dying. The intensely personal view of Mary and Abraham and their relationship was so well written and narrated that when I finished listening, I could not wait to learn more. I went online and researched multiple topics about the Lincolns, Abraham Lincoln's assasination, burial in Springfield, and the available accounts of those involved in the assassination conspiracy. Of course, my next listen was another Audible offering, "Manhunt", the breathtaking account of the 12 day hunt for John Wilkes Booth. I highly recommend The Lincolns:Portrait of a Marriage for readers who enjoy American history or any biographical works. It will leave the reader anxious to know anything more that he or she can find out about this complex couple.
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