When A Country Loses Their Leader
I have to tell you that I was not disappointed and am actually glad that I did read this historical account of the tragedy that our nation suffered when Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford's theater by John Wilkes Booth.
I thought I knew quite a lot about that fateful and tragic day in April of 1865 but this book proved how much I did not know. As Bill O'Reilly so eloquently states, "It is important for us to know our nation's history. To understand the lives of our heroes and to also understand the villains of our history."
I am very impressed with the research that Mr. O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (the co-author) put into this book. I also was impressed to learn that Bill O'Reilly was a history teacher before he entered the world of political commentary and hosting television shows.
Typically, I find non-fiction books rather difficult to read. I usually find them a little on the droll side and have a difficult time keeping my mind from wandering. Not so, with this book. At times it almost reads like a fictional story but the difference is the facts are accurate.
While reading this book, we do not just find out about our 16th President, we also find out about the days leading up to his assassination. We learn about the last few battles of the war and the people involved in those days. We learn quite a bit about General Grant and General Lee and how their lives had intertwined before the civil war. We are given the background of many of the central figures in Lincoln's life during his Presidency and that helps to understand what was really going on in our nation at the time.
The book reveals much about the villain of the story, John Wilkes Booth. We find that he was considered quite handsome at the time and was quite the playboy. We also learn about what drove him to his actions at the Ford Theater in April 1865. We also find out that he did not act alone and had not for quite some time.
I found myself stopping every once in a while and shaking my head, uttering, "Wow, just wow!" My husband and I would sit at the dinner table and discuss my progress through the book. We both found it fascinating, interesting and thought provoking.
I am really glad that I took my husband's suggestion and read the book. Admittedly, I was reluctant because I knew the ending, our President was fatally shot. There was so much more to the event that I did not know and did not understand. If you are a bit of a history nerd like me or prefer non-fiction over fiction; I truly believe that you will love this book. It would also be a wonderful gift for someone who you know loves to learn about history. The wonderful thing is that it comes in so many formats: hardcover, paperback, digital and audio cd.
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