What’s a definitive sign of a great book on CD? Sitting in your car to listen to just a little bit more even after you have arrived at your destination.
An admitted history buff, I was a little hesitant to try Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln: the Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever. What more could O’Reilly and his co-author Martin Dugard add to the immense body of existing works on Lincoln? It’s not so much what they tell – it’s how they tell it. They talk in detail of the last few battles of the Civil War and of how General Robert E. Lee nearly escaped with his ragtag army. They show how John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators had several opportunities to kill President Lincoln and that the Vice President and several Cabinet members were to be eliminated as well.
There is a great sense of foreboding as events lead up to the assassination itself. President Lincoln seemed almost resigned to the fact that he would probably be assassinated – the authors seem to dwell on the fact that the President was a great admirer of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Fans of local hero Ulysses Grant will be pleased by the manner in which the general is portrayed in the book as well. Many will be surprised to learn that Grant and his wife were originally planning on attending the theatre with the Lincolns on the night of the assassination.
O’Reilly’s narration is rapid fire and well-paced and there is nary a slow moment in the entire eight-hour work. Consider checking this one out if you are planning a vacation drive – you won’t regret it.