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My Thoughts Be Bloody Audiobook

My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (144 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kelly Austin, TX, United States 04-26-11
    Kelly Austin, TX, United States 04-26-11
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    "Worth your credit"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Spoden St Augustine, FL 08-01-17
    Diane Spoden St Augustine, FL 08-01-17

    brit chick

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    "Utterly engrossing"

    The setting and context of this well written account is as gripping as the story itself - first rate

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Herb Lachman 06-28-17 Member Since 2016
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    "must read"

    one of the best Lincoln era books I have ever read. The tragic lives of the Booths juxtaposed with the world class Shakespearean acting abilities of Edwin Booth and his father is poignant

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lutz, FL, United States 05-30-17
    Amazon Customer Lutz, FL, United States 05-30-17 Member Since 2012
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    "My Thoughts Be Spellbound"

    The author has written the definitive work and by far the most readable of the Booth assassination sagas in print. The narration is crisp and superb, making this much more of a guilty pleasure than even American Brutus, The Lincoln Conspiracy, or Manhunt. My heart bleeds for not only the Lincoln family, but the Booths themselves, particularly Edwin Booth, who must have borne the greatest shame and burden of any individual involved. It is an even greater crime that his younger brother eclipsed him in death and is still thought of as the more talented of the two. If more widely read, this book would dispel that myth and give Edwin his due place in history as the greatest American actor of the late Nineteenth Century. John Wilkes Booth be damned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 04-06-17
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 04-06-17 Member Since 2017

    retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so

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    "Ok, but could stand a bit of editing"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl Hendler 04-05-17
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    "Very good read"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Djadelaney 09-28-16
    Djadelaney 09-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "wow!"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Collins 09-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A thoughtful and compelling history ."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Reston, VA, United States 03-07-16
    Laura Reston, VA, United States 03-07-16
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    "Fascinating Historical and Character Study"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James U. Collins Jr. 09-02-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent history well told"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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