Manhunt

Manhunt

The Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history -- the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, America's notorious villain. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South's defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the manhunters, slipping away from their every move and denying them the justice they sought.

Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln's own blood relics, Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2006.
ISBN: 9780060518493
0060518499
Characteristics: 448 p. :,ill., map ;,24 cm.

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This historical non-fiction account of the twelve days following President Lincoln's assassination reads like a suspense novel! Swanson is extremely in-depth - down to the hour, even -- as he tells the story of John Wilkes Booth's final days. Plus, who doesn't love a book that can make you empathize with an infamous villain? Recommended by Sarah.

k
Keogh
Nov 21, 2012

An outstanding account of the assassination and its aftermath. Swanson has a compelling style as a writer, detailing the various aspects of the attack masterminded by Booth meant to decapitate the government. What went right and wrong is explored, as are various aspects of the chase that followed as Booth and one of his men evaded the law. Pretty much required reading for anyone interested in the Civil War.

rsgordon Jun 13, 2012

Enjoyable historical non fiction with a lively writing style by Swanson. Good choice by LFL for the One Book/One City summer program. Definitely worth the time. You will learn that Lincoln used to recite Shakespeare's King Lear, Hamlet, Richard III, Henry VIII, and Macbeth to his friends. Lots of quotes from the cast of conspirators, which really brings the 12 days alive.

aaa5756 Apr 02, 2012

A++ All the way….A must have Book in all Libraries - worth the long library wait and WORTH owing!

wearejoyful Apr 02, 2012

We were visiting the Lincoln Presidential museum recently and one of the ladies in the bookstore recommended this book. This gives additional information in terms of the actual escape attempt of John Wilkes Boothe and those that helped him. If you are a detail oriented person or are interested in who John Wilkes Booth was, this book will provide that.

k
kalio
Oct 20, 2011

James L. Swanson, co-author of Lincoln?s Assassins, here focuses on the events immediately after Lincoln?s murder. An angry, bitter, South-sympathizing Booth stumbles across an unforeseen opportunity, acts on it, and flees into the night. The next twelve days will shock a nation still reeling from the barely-ended Civil War. Manhunt becomes a gripping page-turner as Booth literally breaks a leg during his dramatic leap to the stage, cons his way across the bridge to Maryland, hides in the woods for days with his naïve accomplice David Herold, and makes a desperate bid for safety in the Deep South. Booth?s obsessions and hatreds, his deep-seated desire for fame and notoriety, his immense ego?not to mention his ill-luck and miserable mistakes?take center stage here, and the results are compelling. Swanson picks up where Manhunt leaves off with Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln?s Corpse.

bookfanatic1979 Oct 19, 2011

Thought a little slow in spots, Swanson’s book reads more like an adventure novel than a dry historical retelling. There are lots of names in this book, but as long as you keep the main ones semi-straight, you can gloss over a lot of the different groups of manhunters.

m
Miserswife
Nov 11, 2010

Interesting but a little dull & long-winded for my taste

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