James L. Swanson has written an enlightening and engrossing account of the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. I knew all of the major points and touchstones of the history but this book is an invaluable guide and deep dive into all the details surrounding it. It is astounding how much information he has accumulated from many different sources to create a seamless narrative. When he sometimes fills in minor open spaces with well thought out supposition it rings true every time. He is well versed in his topic.
It reads like a first hand account or screenplay as it takes us on Booth’s whirlwind journey and is a very entertaining read. It also underlines what people should always remember. Booth carried out his murder for racist reasons and the lost cause framing has worked to conceal his motivations over the decades. Highly recommended book.
TOMORROW: Time Traveling for writers