"" Writer's Wanderings: Books for the Road--Manhunt

Friday, April 17, 2009

Books for the Road--Manhunt

Manhunt, The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer, by James L. Swanson, is one of the better historical account books I have read. I am not a great history buff. I slogged through my history courses in high school and college and really didn't take much interest until I was a bit more mature. But Lincoln has always been one of my favorite historical figures and the Civil War an interesting era to look at.

Swanson gives a detailed account of the assassination, the attempt on other leaders of the time, and of course the 12-day chase for the killer and co-conspirators. He does it with a storytelling technique that makes it read so much better than a history book could. I can forgive him the liberty of second guessing what Booth and the others might have been feeling at the time. It does make the story more interesting.

Having lived near the Washington, D.C., area for a few years, I found it fascinating to trace the trail of Booth and his companion, David Herold, through Maryland and into Virginia. This would be a great book to read either before or just after a visit to that area. A must if you stop in at the restored Ford Theater.

For those of you who are history buffs, Swanson gives a detailed and extensive bibliography at the end should you be looking to research the subject and the era further.

One note: I bought this through the Sony E-book store and the images were not downloaded. If you want images, you need to buy the actual book or grab one at the library. I'm not sure if Kindle offers this or if the images download with it.

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