A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega best-selling 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.
©2011 Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
"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 nonfiction, albeit told in white-knuckled, John Grisham-like style." (New York Post)
"If Grisham wrote a novel about April 1865…it might well read like Killing Lincoln." (Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek)
I learned some aspects about the Lincoln assassination which were previously unknow to me.
The part I found most memorable was learning that Lincoln was supposed to have a bodyguard controlling egress to his booth at the Ford Theater and this duffus ended up taking off to indulge in some drinks at the bar next door. If he'd stayed at his post and resisted Booth's undeterred entrance to Lincoln's booth, the whole assassination attempt would have probably been foiled and the subsequent history would have taken a whole different path. That this clown went unpunished while all the southern conspirators ended up with a bullet through the throat or at the end of a rope (even Mary Surrott) makes one recognize that the idoicies of our current era are not necessarily any more ridiculous than the ones of 137 years ago.
I've been a fan of Bill O'Reilly on Fox News'
The fact that Linocln hung on as long as he did, and died the next day made his ultimate demise seem all the more moving.
Access to this audio book was a Christmas gift from my son. I've enjoyed having the opportunity to hear this particular book read by one of my favorite TV news commentators, so I want to thank my son for his generosity.
The whole book. I thought I knew a lot about history but I learned something at almost every turn of the story!
No. But I will now.
The rest of the story.
Bill did a great job of reading this!
Surprisingly Bill O'Reilly's enthusiasm for his text. One got a sense of tragedy for all the characters that were involved in this extremely brutal and messy affair. Difficult to envisage the brutality of the world at this time without such biographies or to understand the primitive nature of both politics and medicine. These conspiracies continue but one really hopes we have more consideration for mankind (which involves both the good and the bad in this a story). Then there was Kennedy. They did a better detective job with Lincoln's Assassination than his.
The moment of assassination and the wind up of what happened to everyone.
Nothing. Maybe a bit journalistic but despite this he kept me enthralled by the evolving story - as a BRIT (in NZ) - much of which I did not know.
If only.... but it was one I could not wait to get back to.
No, a great read. Worth every cent (penny!).
This is a familiar story told in a new and compelling way. I enjoyed learning more about the assassin, the plot, the accomplices, the motive and the implications.
The “chronological count down” adds suspense to a story to which we already know the ending.
As other reviews have mentioned, Mr. O’Reilly misread his own book. The Calvary / Cavalry mix up was bad for two reasons: first it was annoying, grating and distracted from the drama of the story. And secondly, because no one, not the author, narrator, editor, director nor publisher cared enough to correct the mistake. That is either lazy or a gross disregard for the audience.
Don't get me wrong. I love Bill O'Reilly as a comentator, but as the narrator of this book, he is a poor choice. Listening to him is like listening to his broadcasts: strident declarative sentences, sardonic tone, and inappropriate inflections. His narrative voice has a sharp edge that in my opinion detracted from the storytelling. And call me picky, but I grew increasingly irritated every time he mispronounced CAV-alry as CAL-very. It's a war story -- that word came up a LOT!
In short, Bill should stick to broadcasting.
This story was introduced in the prologue as a thriller, but I really didn't find it thrilling at all. Interesting, yes, but nowhere near what it has been built up to be. This was not the best choice I've made at Audible. And I won't try "Killing Kennedy" because of my disappointment with this book.
Suspenseful, action, interesting
This was an excellent book and it really did read as a thriller. I learned so much that I did not know. On the day of Lincoln's assassination, as I listened I could barely catch my breath. I thought, "This is crazy - I know exactly what happens?!?!?" but I couldn't help it - I was so entranced.
I am not much of a history buff, but am literally counting the moments until the "Killing Kennedy" book comes out. This was phenomenal.
O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" was really good. This book was enjoyable but not as good.
Unfortunately, O'Reilly became very annoying by using the word "cavalry" hundreds of times, but pronouncing it "calvary" every time. There were a few other quirks—like saying "century" when he meant "sentry" or mispronouncing "pandemonium"—but the confusion of Golgatha with a horse soldier happened every few seconds for the first two and a half hours of the book and became grating—like a person who says "nook-cyoo-ler" and then manages to use it in every sentence.
The narrator. Bill O'Reilly narrates in his newscaster voice and it is a poor performance of an excellent story.
The description of life at the end of the Civil War. Devastating.
O'Reilly is a wiseass, which is his trademark on TV. He uses his wiseass tone throughout the book. As a result, I did not finish the book. I had all of O'Reilly's voice I could stand way before I got to the end.
Would love to hear the book narrated by a talented reader.
I really enjoyed this story -- great detail about an event that I didn't know I knew so little about. Good insight. Great character development.
I did not like the narration by the author -- found his tone monotonous, would have preferred he let someone else do the reading.
Informative, Interesting, Complex
The hours prior to and following his death
He is a great storyteller. He provides facts when available and also highlights unanswered questions.
descriptions of battles and bloodshed
"Bringing it to life."
Not sure how much of the story is fiction but written in a style which always keeps you engaged.
"A bit disappointing"
I got this title in to get some background anticipation of watching the Day-Lewis movie. It was rather disappointing though, certainly in the earliest parts of the book where a great deal of time seems to be spent discussing closing battles of the Civil War which are of tangential relevance at best to the assassination. The author also seems to have had unique access to Wilkes Booth's unexpressed thoughts - we are frequently told what the assassin was thinking or feeling without any obvious source material. The actual story of the assassination is reasonably well told but I suspect that there are better books out there.
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