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This week's book was Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

Confession: when I first heard about this book and Mom recommended that I read it, I thought it was a political book. Given that O'Reilly was an author, I assumed that the book would be all about how Obama and the Democrats have undone everything Lincoln created during his presidency.

I politely refused to read the book.

And refused.

And refused.

Then Mom came to pick me up a few weeks ago. Monday morning we were sitting at Blue Moon Cafe, trying to figure out what to do with our day. Kara was busy until after dinner and Dad wouldn't get in until the next morning. I proposed a visit to Gettysburg. Mom had never been and it was only an hour and a half drive from where we were sitting. So off we went.

While ambling about the visitor's center at Gettysburg, Mom mentioned Killing Lincoln. Again.

Come to find out, I  was quite wrong about this book.

It's not a political book.

No, Killing Lincoln details the end of the Civil War, plot to assassinate President Lincoln, and the final days of Lincoln's killer. And other than a few editorial comments, the book doesn't really make a political statement. The whole thing was decidedly un-O'Reilly Factor in its approach to the story of Lincoln, the Civil War, and Booth.

I learned a lot while reading this book. While it may be classified as nonfiction, anything that gives a narrative format to a historical event should be taken with a grain of salt. No matter  how good of a historian you are, there are still going to be a few embellishments necessary to flesh out the storyline. Still the book provides a much more complete description of the assassination of Lincoln than anything I ever learned in history class.

If you're at all interested in American history, Lincoln, or assassinations I highly recommend reading this book. Ignore the author (I know it was hard for me to do too--I wanted so badly to dislike anything written by O'Reilly but lo and behold I just couldn't do it) and dig in.

"Rather than dwell on death, Lincoln prefers to live life on his own terms. 'If I am killed, I can die but once,' he is fond of saying, 'but to live in constant dread is to die over and over again.'"

-From Killing Lincoln: the Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Image from here.

1 comment:

  1. See I am not as crazy as you think I am.... hehehe! Love you dear!