My Thoughts Be Bloody, a sweeping family saga, revives an extraordinary figure whose name has been missing, until now, from the story of President Lincoln's death. Edwin Booth, John Wilkes's older brother by four years, was in his day the biggest star of the American stage. He won his celebrity at the precocious age of 19, before the Civil War began, when John Wilkes was a schoolboy. Without an account of Edwin Booth, author Nora Titone argues, the real story of Lincoln's assassin has never been told. Using an array of private letters, diaries, and reminiscences of the Booth family, Titone has uncovered a hidden history that reveals the reasons why John Wilkes Booth became this country's most notorious assassin.
The details of the conspiracy to kill Lincoln have been well documented elsewhere. My Thoughts Be Bloody tells a new story, one that explains for the first time why Lincoln's assassin decided to conspire against the president in the first place, and sets that decision in the context of a bitterly divided family—and nation. By the end of this riveting journey, listeners will see Abraham Lincoln's death less as the result of the war between the North and South and more as the climax of a dark struggle between two brothers who never wore the uniform of soldiers, except on stage.
©2010 Nora Titone (P)2010 Simon and Schuster Audio
"Titone's account paints a colorful panorama of 19th-century theatrical life, with its endless drunken touring through frontier backwaters and showbiz pratfalls. Neither deep nor tragic, her John Wilkes is oddly convincing: the first of the grandiose hollow men in America's cast of assassins." (Publishers Weekly)
I knew very little about the Booths when starting this book. It is a very interesting story with a lot of information. If you already know some history about this tale I can't guarantee that you'll hang onto every word like I did. Also with so many hours of audio you definitely get your moneys worth. I have recommended this audiobook to many of my friends. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so
I bought this audiobook because this week I finished, and enjoyed much more than I had expected, the (print) historical fiction of the Booths in " Fate and Traitors" by Jennifer Chiaverini ( which Audible offers as an audiobook). I picked up "Fate" on a whim from the library ( hey, it was free) and was quite taken with the Booths ( plural) story. Although I have listened to or read a fair amount of American Civil War history, I had no idea of the Booth family history. That Wilkes' father and brother were, respectively, in their own way and time, as famous as (for example) Brad Pitt or George Clooney are in our time.
Though notionally fiction, Chiaverini's book is a very fact -based telling. As to " My Thoughts Be Bloody" - it told - almost identically - the same story, but ( I confess) after 17 or 18 hours, I was saying to myself "yes, I get it, I've heard the rivalry told in a different way at hour 8 ( or 11 or 15). Narration was "acceptable". Not stellar, but not bad.
If you have not read or listened to " Fate" then by all means get " "My Thoughts Be Bloody". If you have a choice, I recommend " Fate"
But both - here (finally..) is the point - tell of a VERY interesting ( if not weird) family, a compelling Civil War story
I recommend this book highly. It reveals a time lost to many but important to those interested in US history. The story of the Booth family and the feelings of Americans during the 1800's. Come alive in a way no fiction can match
loved it, finished it fast, may revisit. gripping characters, lots of lush historical detail, learned a lot about the entertainment industry of the era. loved Junius Brutus most, such a tragic tragedian <3 still a jerk. all of them are loveable jerks, even JW, except you like him less as he gets older because he gets progressively worse, of course
I could not stop listening to this incredible story of an American family who lived through and shaped our history directly. Shakespearean indeed.
Fact is stranger than fiction.
In other words you can't make this stuff up!! Fabulous, great narrator as well , flawless delivery.
This book illuminates not only John Wilkes but his far more influential and famous actor brother Edwin as well as other figures involved in these tumultuous times and events. This filled an absolute vacancy of knowledge about the Booth family, their loyalties, talents and leanings, and the resulting effect on the personality needs and actions of J. Wilkes Booth. Just a joy to read-great flow-no a dull moment!
I appreciate the great job done with respect to researching and telling this story. It is another piece of the puzzle that is the assassination of President Lincoln. Great perspective!
This was a very good overview of the relationship between the Booth family members, not just the 2 brothers mentioned in the title. I knew very little about the family's history prior to listening to this title and find their stories fascinating. I had no idea exactly how famous the family was for things outside of the assassination of the President and enjoyed the tales of the family's successes and failures, as well as their dysfunctional interactions between all of its members.
I Saw Nora Titone on Charlie Rose introducing this book and got it immediately! It was obviously a work of love. This is a story that needed to be told and Nora Titone did her due diligence. Newspaper interviews with neighbors, letters between characters, you become a fly on the wall witnessing a truly Shakespearean tragedy. The list of characters is a veritable "who's who" of the era. Reading some of the reviews I must disagree with detractors. While facts are repeated, they are done so by arriving at a conclusion from a different path, adding dimension to a vividly drawn canvas. A "must read" for any one interested in American History and the Civil War. Worth every penny, worth every minute.
This book uncovers JWB in a different light to anything I thought I knew about him, it has been extremely well researched and is a fascinating listen. I always believed JWB to have been a great actor at the top of his fame, and the truth appears to be very different. He comes across as a spoilt, entitled younger brother with even less conscience and integrity and less sympathy for the southern cause than he has ever been given credit for. His brother and father are fantastic and talented men. this is a really great listen.
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