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American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the…
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American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies

by Michael W. Kauffman

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Favorite JWB dialog from the book. This took place after Booth saw a speech by Lincoln where Lincoln called for voting rights for black soldiers. Booth went to pick up his mail at the Ford Theater and vent with fellow actors and said: (quote from book)
"If a man were to go out and insult a nigger now, he would be knocked down by the nigger and nothing would be done to the nigger."
Tom Raybold replied," You should not insult a nigger then."

Yes, I agree with other reviews. It was a very thorough account of the assassination and kidnapping conspiracy, and it also gave a good feel of what the times and mood of the country had been like. A good read. ( )
1 vote cammykitty | Nov 3, 2010 |
This is a penetrating study of Booth's life and motivations, with some original twists. For example, Kauffman argues persuasively that Booth did not break his leg jumping from the Ford's Theatre box but in a riding accident on his escape through Maryland.
  dh1515 | May 23, 2010 |
This account of the murder of President Lincoln, the mindset of the conspirators, the intense atmosphere in Washington D.C. and the rest of the country after the assassination, the flight and search for those involved, and the aftermath of this tragic time is haunting and compelling. ( )
  MHelm1017 | Mar 11, 2010 |
John Wilkes Booth made the trip from fame to infamy in short order, and this remarkable book fleshes out the details of that fascinating journey to such a degree that it renders all previous Lincoln Conspiracy books (and they've been cranking 'em out for about a century-and-a-half now) completely useless. Incredible stuff. ( )
  wordnat | Mar 5, 2008 |
3966. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies, by Michael W. Kauffman (read 20 Dec 2004) Ever since I read with great astonishment in December of 1945 the book Why Was Lincoln Murdered? by Otto Eisenschiml I have been interested in Lincoln's assassination. (Incidentally, this book calls Eisenschmil's claims as to Stanton's alleged role in the event "outrageous".) The author is an expert on the subject, having spent over 30 years in studying it. The book opens with an account in great detail of the events of April 14 and 15, 1865, then meticulously relates what Booth and the people he sucked into his scheme did before and after those two days. The research seems to have been exhaustive and sometimes the account is exhausting. It seems clear the trial of the conspirators by military commission was illegal but the ones who were convicted were quickly hung so the Supreme Court never got a chance to tell anyone about the illegality. Most of the book is exciting and informative and I enjoyed reading it. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 14, 2007 |
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For Mary, Emily, and Brian 
and in memory of
Michael E. Patten and Lee Anne Brown
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(Introduction) On the night of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by an assassin as he sat in a Washington theater.
Good Friday had never been a well-attended night at the theater, but on that evening, the city of Washington was in a partying mood.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375759743, Paperback)

It is a tale as familiar as our history primers: A deranged actor, John Wilkes Booth, killed Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, escaped on foot, and eluded capture for twelve days until he met his fiery end in a Virginia tobacco barn. In the national hysteria that followed, eight others were arrested and tried; four of those were executed, four imprisoned. Therein lie all the classic elements of a great thriller. But the untold tale is even more fascinating.

Now, in American Brutus, Michael W. Kauffman, one of the foremost Lincoln assassination authorities, takes familiar history to a deeper level, offering an unprecedented, authoritative account of the Lincoln murder conspiracy. Working from a staggering array of archival sources and new research, Kauffman sheds new light on the background and motives of John Wilkes Booth, the mechanics of his plot to topple the Union government, and the trials and fates of the conspirators.

Piece by piece, Kauffman explains and corrects common misperceptions and analyzes the political motivation behind Booth’s plan to unseat Lincoln, in whom the assassin saw a treacherous autocrat, “an American Caesar.” In preparing his study, Kauffman spared no effort getting at the truth: He even lived in Booth’s house, and re-created key parts of Booth’s escape. Thanks to Kauffman’s discoveries, readers will have a new understanding of this defining event in our nation’s history, and they will come to see how public sentiment about Booth at the time of the assassination and ever since has made an accurate account of his actions and motives next to impossible–until now.

In nearly 140 years there has been an overwhelming body of literature on the Lincoln assassination, much of it incomplete and oftentimes contradictory. In American Brutus, Kauffman finally makes sense of an incident whose causes and effects reverberate to this day. Provocative, absorbing, utterly cogent, at times controversial, this will become the definitive text on a watershed event in American history.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:27 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

It is a tale as familiar as our history primers: A deranged actor, John Wilkes Booth, killed Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, escaped on foot, and eluded capture for twelve days until he met his fiery end in a Virginia tobacco barn. In the national hysteria that followed, eight others were arrested and tried; four of those were executed, four imprisoned. Therein lie all the classic elements of a great thriller. But the untold tale is even more fascinating. Now, in American Brutus, Michael W. Kauffman, one of the foremost Lincoln assassination authorities, takes familiar history to a deeper level, offering an unprecedented, authoritative account of the Lincoln murder conspiracy. Working from a staggering array of archival sources and new research, Kauffman sheds new light on the background and motives of John Wilkes Booth, the mechanics of his plot to topple the Union government, and the trials and fates of the conspirators. Piece by piece, Kauffman explains and corrects common misperceptions and analyzes the political motivation behind Booth’s plan to unseat Lincoln, in whom the assassin saw a treacherous autocrat, “an American Caesar.” In preparing his study, Kauffman spared no effort getting at the truth: He even lived in Booth’s house, and re-created key parts of Booth’s escape. Thanks to Kauffman’s discoveries, readers will have a new understanding of this defining event in our nation’s history, and they will come to see how public sentiment about Booth at the time of the assassination and ever since has made an accurate account of his actions and motives next to impossible–until now. In nearly 140 years there has been an overwhelming body of literature on the Lincoln assassination, much of it incomplete and oftentimes contradictory. In American Brutus, Kauffman finally makes sense of an incident whose causes and effects reverberate to this day. Provocative, absorbing, utterly cogent, at times controversial, this will become the definitive text on a watershed event in American history. From the Hardcover edition.… (more)

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