This post contains affiliate links. A reader recommended Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard to me. Of course, I love historical books, both fiction and non-fiction, so I began reading this book. After I got through the Civil War sections, I loved it!
About Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
Killing Lincoln begins during the last few days of the Civil War. I’ll admit, I’m not much of military lover, so the beginning 50 or so pages were hard for me to get through. I put the book aside several times, but I had heard good things about it, so I kept picking it up again. While I did learn some things reading about the last few days of the war, that just didn’t interest me very much.
However, once the war was over, I found I couldn’t put the book down. I really enjoyed the intimate look into Lincoln’s last days. In fact, the book inspired me to go on a reading tangent to learn more about Mary Todd Lincoln. (I just started reading Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.)
I wasn’t as intrigued by Booth’s side of the story. Probably because I know the way things turned out in history, I couldn’t believe that Booth really thought he’d shoot the president, jump down on the stage, and then make his way to Mexico where he could live as a free man.
Truth Is Stranger than Fiction
Another thing I loved about the book was all of the weird facts I learned. For instance, Edwin Booth, John Wilkes Booth’s older brother, saved Robert Lincoln when he was pushed on a train track some time before Lincoln was shot. Also, John Wilkes Booth and Robert Lincoln had an interest in the same woman. Booth broke up with her a few days before the assassination, and Lincoln spent the day with her just hours before his father was shot.
Also, I couldn’t believe how many people helped Booth. While some of them, fairly and unfairly, received the ultimate punishment of death, others didn’t receive any punishment at all.
Finally, I enjoyed reading the notes after the story that detailed what happened to all of the people who played a role in the day from the assassins’ assistants to the couple who shared the theater box with the Lincoln’s the night of the assassination to other political figures. History is strange, and a lot of bizarre things happened to these people after Lincoln was killed.
My Thoughts on the Book
Even though we all know how the Lincoln/Booth story is sadly going to end, the authors built so much suspense in Killing Lincoln that I kept reading wanting to know more. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading more books like this one.
I give Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.
To help you and your kids learn more about Lincoln, consider reading Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom by Janet & Geoffe Benge.