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Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination: The…

Backstage at the Lincoln Assassination: The Untold Story of the Actors and… (2013)

by Thomas A. Bogar

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It's hard to imagine that there was another angle to be taken with the Lincoln assassination, but Thomas Bogar has found it in this history of the actors and theater employees at Ford's on the night of 14 April 1865. Bogar explores the theater culture of the period, the history of Ford's and its owners, and the biographies of the men and women in the house that night, both before and after Lincoln's assassination. Particular attention is paid to Ned Spangler's trial and time in federal prison.

A very useful contribution to the literature. ( )
  JBD1 | Mar 9, 2014 |
This scholarly book examines the backgrounds of the 46 people who were either present as performers or support staff at Ford's Theatre the night of the assassination, what they were doing at the time of the assassination and immediately thereafter, their treatment by those investigating the assassination, and the impact of these events on their lives and careers. The three Ford brothers, one of whom owned the theatre, were included. As a whole, the stagehands were more harshly treated than the actors. The book, gets rather bogged down with so many people discussed; fortunately, Dr. Bogar provides a list of the people identifying them by their role (i.e. occupation), age, Southern or Union sympathies, etc. at the beginning of the book. Dr. Bogar also offers an analysis of the investigation and trials of any defendants, pointing out weaknesses of the proceedings. ( )
  sallylou61 | Mar 3, 2014 |
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Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
and then is heard no more.

--MACBETH, Act V, Scene v
(Abraham Lincoln's favorite Shakespearean play)
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Preface:  Imagine for a moment that the president of the United States has just been murdered in your workplace by one of your most admired and charismatic colleagues, as you stood nearby.
Chapter One:  In the half-light backstage, where sound meant more than sight, hardly anyone took it for a gunshot.
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"The untold story of Lincoln's assassination: the forty-six stage hands, actors, and theater workers on hand for the bewildering events in the theater that night, and what each of them witnessed in the chaos-streaked hours before John Wilkes Booth was discovered to be the culprit"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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