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Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever [Kindle Edition]

Bill O'Reilly , Martin Dugard
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling 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.

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"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 resume."--Nelson DeMille, author of "The Lion "and" The Gold Coast"""Killing Lincoln" is a must read historical thriller. Bill O'Reilly recounts the dramatic events of the spring of 1865 with such exhilarating immediacy that you will feel like you are walking the streets of Washington, DC, on the night that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln. This is a hugely entertaining, heart-stopping read."--Vince Flynn, author of "American Assassin""""If Grisham wrote a novel about April might well read like "Killing Lincoln.""--Peter J. Boyer, "Newsweek""[Killing Lincoln] delivers a taut, action-packed narrative with cliff-hangers aplenty..."--"The Christian Science Monitor""[Killing Lincoln] is nonfiction, albeit told in white-knuckled, John Grisham-like style."--"New York Post"

About the Author

Bill O'Reilly is the anchor of "The O'Reilly Factor," the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He is the author of many number-one bestselling books, including "Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, "and "Killing Patton."Martin Dugard is the "New York Times "bestselling author of several books of history. He and his wife live in Southern California with their three sons.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read For The Tale, But Do Not Quote the Anecdotes 20 Oct. 2011
By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Killing Lincoln" is an attention grabbing history of the last days of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It focuses first on the cat and mouse game between Robert E. Lee, as he tried to find as escape route for his Army of Northern Virginia to the Carolinas, and Ulysses S. Grant who tried to trap Lee. With Lee's surrender the focus shifts to the Booth conspiracy and its target.

Author Bill O'Reilly gives the reader an hour by hour account of its subjects. We read of Booth's racism, his womanizing, his hatred of Lincoln and the step by step evolution of the conspiracy from kidnapping to murder. We follow Lincoln through the last few days of his life as he, along among his acquaintances, seems unconcerned with the assassination threat. While May Lincoln worries, the reader is introduced to each of Booth's co-conspirators.

The story is well told and read and the facts are fascinating. The thought of Robert Lincoln keeping company with Boot's secret fiancée boggles the mind. O'Reilly discusses various conspiracy theories without adopting any of them, other than the proven Booth conspiracy. My only reservation about this book is its obvious inaccuracies. Lincoln is repeatedly mentioned as being in the Oval Office, a room constructed during the Theodore Roosevelt Administration, forty years later. We are told that Dan Sickles killed his mistress's husband, but actually it was his wife's paramour. If this work cannot keep easily researched facts like that straight, how can we trust it to accurately report the obscure details that make this book so fascinating? Read it for the tale, but be cautious about quoting the anecdotes.
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Format:Audio CD
Over the past several years I have spent far too much of my time in hospital due to deterioration of my health; and things that can distract me from the experience and keep my mind functioning are vital to me. While I am in my sick bed diversions such as movies and TV show box sets have become imperative (rather than a diet of the plethora of daytime and reality TV shows).

I also enjoy listening to audiobooks. It is one of those wonderful moments when you can have your headphones on and your eyes closed listening to an audiobook and people around you think you are dozing and leave you alone ... at least for a little while. For some strange reason people think that they really should interrupt and ask what you are doing you - even if it is obvious that you are fully engrossed in a book or using a laptop, etc, - but when you have your eyes shut and appear asleep it is different.

It was because of my love of audiobooks that I came across the "Killing ..." series by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

Mr O'Reilly (who also narrates the audiobook) was a former History teacher, is a writer of "contemporary non-fiction" and presents "daily news analysis on TV" - apparently he presents his own opinion show. Of Mr Dugard there is very little mentioned other than he is a historian ... well that's what you get when you allow a "big name" to attach itself to your work - you just disappear into the background.

Mr O'Reilly states that this historical presentation should be "read as a thriller" and that it is a "no spin American story". That last bit puzzled me until one of the other ladies on the ward told me, with obvious admiration, that "no spin" was his catchphrase - so American news "analysts" have catchphrases!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, as promised 19 Aug. 2013
By Athan TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Did not feel right to be reading a thriller about something as historically significant as Lincoln's assassination, but I genuinely could not put this book down. And I even knew how it ends!

Being totally ignorant, I additionally picked up lots of stuff from the history too.

For example, I had no idea that members of the public used to hang out in the ground floor of the White House back in 1865. Quite unthinkable now. Clinton visited Athens a few years ago and my mom was not allowed on her own balcony.

And I had no idea that Lincoln was the first civilian commander of an army to use the telegraph to stay updated on the proceedings. I guess that makes him the first civilian commander in history who was not hostage to his generals. Though of course his relationship with Ulysses Grant (Sam in the book, always) was cordial.

There are drawbacks to reading this like a novel. The author writes stuff like "XYZ Lincoln thought to himself" and it's always a bit jarring. Lincoln actually is a historical figure, it's funny when you read sentences like that.

But what I look for in a book is simple. It needs to entertain me, it needs to make me think and ideally I also learn something.

"Killing Lincoln" delivers on all fronts. And I've now bought a pukka historical book so I can actually read the story in its gory detail with the i's dotted and the t's crossed.

Might come back with more comments after I've read the other book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 9 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America ForeverThoroughly enjoyed it even knowing that some parts are obviously slightly fictionalized. Otherwise I would probably never have the patience to go through a thick academic tome about the topic. Amazing how innocent those days were in the US, with the President with 1 (one) bodyguard -- and even that one unreliable as he ended up in a pub instead of watching over his boss (and thus allowing him to me assassinated); and the assassin jumping on the stage and then fleeing without anyone stopping him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written
Really good narrative of the well known history of Lincoln. I learnt a couple of new facts as well
Published 2 months ago by Basil larkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! It's written novel equivalent of 3D movie
Fantastic! It's written novel equivalent of 3D movie. Extremely entertaining and visceral.
Never mind it's not always historically spot on and you will be thoroughly... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kenboxxy66
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story but...
I really enjoyed this read but I was put off by Mr O'Reilly's use of the word Calvary when he clearly meant Cavalry. It took little away from my confidence of the accuracy.
Published 9 months ago by Rick Graham
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
In addition to the historical inaccuracies mentioned in other reviews, I was very disappointed with the overall content. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sccrills
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived on time and in excellent condition.
I was educating my English friends about American history before their visit in the US. I live in North Carolina but I drove my friends to Washington DC and toured Ford's Theater... Read more
Published 24 months ago by sugarbear
2.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced docudrama...
First of all, I'll admit it. I did read the entire book, cover to cover. I'll also admit, and better than that, confirm that I not a big fan of "The O'Reilly" factor, where this... Read more
Published on 25 Mar. 2013 by John P. Jones III
5.0 out of 5 stars ...why I read the 'book'
I actually listened to the audio version which is read by Bill O'Reilly himself so its the same content as the book. Read more
Published on 26 Aug. 2012 by Mr. M. Kostyrka
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the author put you off...
I guess I should declare an interest: I don't like Bill O'Reilly and his television show is appalling. However this book os rather good, almost surprisingly so. Read more
Published on 11 Jun. 2012 by lg2
1.0 out of 5 stars Not again...
A fatally inaccurate book, based on little or no facts, by a man who seems to believe that his own lies are truth, pathologically.1 star is 1 star too many.
Published on 5 Mar. 2012 by Joe
1.0 out of 5 stars Sic Semper Tyrannis

I would just avoid this book and the rest of the books of O'reilly. The language and style of the book is horrible and his insight into Lincoln and... Read more
Published on 19 Jan. 2012 by M. Pedersen
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