Book Review: Killing Lincoln


After reading Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly, I knew that I wanted to read Killing Lincoln as well.  I wrote about the similarities in the two presidents in my review of Killing Kennedy.  O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have once again done a fantastic job of weaving together the politics, history, and everything else going on when President Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.  Several years ago on a school trip to Washington, D.C., I had the privilege of visiting Ford’s Theater.  After spending time in that space, this book really came alive while I was reading it!  I also visited the Peterson House across the street where Lincoln was taken after he was shot and then ultimately passed away.

While I realize that there is likely some creative license taken in the writing, the overall historical significance seems to be maintained while telling the story in an engaging and helpful way.  The assassination of President Lincoln was definitely one of the most pivotal events of the late 19th-century.  He was killed on Good Friday when he and Mrs. Lincoln were out at the theater for the evening celebrating with the country that the long Civil War had finally come to a close.  The nation went into mourning much like it would a century later with the assassination of President Kennedy.

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