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Lincoln's Avengers: Justice, Revenge, and…
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Lincoln's Avengers: Justice, Revenge, and Reunion after the Civil War

by Elizabeth D. Leonard

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911202,165 (3.82)1
On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was murdered by John Wilkes Booth, and Secretary of State William H. Seward was brutally stabbed. Clearly a conspiracy was afoot. Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt was put in charge of the investigation and trial. He first set out to punish all of Booth's accomplices and then wanted to go after Jefferson Davis, whom he felt had instigated the assassination—despite stern opposition, not least of all from Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. Elizabeth D. Leonard tells for the first time the full story of the two assassination trials. She explores the questions that made these trials pivotal in American history: Were they to be used to make the South pay for secession? Were they to be fair trials based on the evidence? Or were they to be points of reconciliation, with the South forgiven at all costs to create a solid union?… (more)

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Yet another example of a somewhat unconventional angle on the Lincoln assassination, this book explores the aftermath of the president's murder by focusing on judge advocate general Joseph Holt, the man responsible for the prosecution of the conspirators. Leonard also places the trial and subsequent legal proceedings concerning John Surratt, Jr. and Jefferson Davis in the context of the early Reconstruction period, which offers a very useful narrative framework.

Well researched and a lively read; recommended. ( )
  JBD1 | Mar 16, 2014 |
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W.W. Norton

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