Customer Reviews for

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

69 out of 128 people found this review helpful.

What a Read!!!!!

Not a typical book I read, however this is a masterpiece......Informative, interesting and easy to read. Kudos to the authors who were so insightful in presenting such an event, which changed America, in a way that held my interest and make me proud that Lincoln was one...
Not a typical book I read, however this is a masterpiece......Informative, interesting and easy to read. Kudos to the authors who were so insightful in presenting such an event, which changed America, in a way that held my interest and make me proud that Lincoln was one of our great Presidents. Recommend this for students as well.

posted by Reader1DL on September 27, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

432 out of 525 people found this review helpful.

Too Many Errors to be Taken Seriously

I like Bill O'Reilly very much. He has done the people a great service by having many who know little or nothing at all about the subject of this book induced to learn about it and perhaps to become interested in that subject in a way that never would have been possible...
I like Bill O'Reilly very much. He has done the people a great service by having many who know little or nothing at all about the subject of this book induced to learn about it and perhaps to become interested in that subject in a way that never would have been possible had not HE been its author. But those folks deserved better.

I am someone who knows a great deal about this subject and, as such, when reading this book, contrary to never feeling as though I could not put it down, I found myself instead periodically feeling like throwing it across the room. Why? Because of the agonizingly regular appearance of errors. Errors matter because when one comes across information which, despite years of study of a subject, appears to be new, instead of celebrating the discovery of that new information or the appreciation of having understood an old story from a new perspective because of that new information, one is left with the overriding suspicion that the new information is not new at all, but only appears to be so because it is not true.

Some examples: Booth did not bore a peep hole in the wall of the hallway leading to the Presidential Box at Ford's Theater, he bore that hole in a door, a door which is there at Ford's Theater to this very day for anyone who visits the site to see for himself. Did Mr. O'Reilly visit Ford's Theater?

Mr. O'Reilly concludes his account of the surrender at Appomattox by observing that Grant and Lee would never meet again, when, in fact, they met the next day and conducted follow-up surrender negotiations on horseback, and met again in 1869 when Lee visited the White House to confer with Grant after he became President.

Mr. O'Reilly tells of Grant, upon returning to Washington from City Point, going over to the White House to see Lincoln and meeting with him in the Oval Office. There was no Oval Office in 1865, and there would not be one until the 20th Century. Grant met with Lincoln in Lincoln's office on the second floor of the White House where today is located the room called the "Lincoln Bedroom".

Details like these are important: Why else include them in the book in the first place? When details worthy for inclusion in the book are inaccurate the inaccuracies matter when they accumulate to the point where the credibility of the entire enterprise is put at risk and the book's reliability becomes suspect.That point is reached in this book.

The book needed vetting it never received, and suffers as a result. The folks who read this book and put it down having learned a story they never before knew or fully appreciated might now be inspired to learn more about that story. The regret is that Mr. O'Reilly did not do a better job of giving them the head start he probably intended for them to have in order to succeed in that worthy effort.

posted by SBrizek on October 4, 2011

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    A Great look back into History.

    I just finished this book and it was well worth my time. It is a very easy read. Once you start it is the kind of book you don't want to put down because Bill does a great job making you feel like you are really there. At times I found myself hoping that President Lincoln would change his mind and not go to Ford's theater that night. The book gives you a lot of detail into what the times where like in our nation's capital just after the war ended. Not only the mode of the president and those around him but the general public in and around Washington at that time. This is the type of book that every high school student should be required to read to understand that time period in our nation's history.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. I have read many books on Lincoln but I really enjoyed the format of this book in addition to many facts and interpretations that I had not considered before. I have already recommended the book to friends and history lovers at work and home.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    Millions of readers can't be wrong

    I actually read Killing Lincoln over one year ago, and I am only writing this review because I am tired of the microscopic analysis the book has recieved. It is a great book and 99% historically accurate, which is more than can be said of most historical novels. I know of none that are without error or dispute. I have been involved in education for over 30 years, and wish that more books were written with the free flowing prose that Killing Lincoln possesses. It would certainly make teaching the basic history of this country significantly easier and more enjoyable.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    "The Shocking Assination that Changed America Forever"

    “Killing Lincoln”, by Bill O’Reilly, is the non-fiction book that brings the shocking assassination of the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, to life. The book begins in the spring of 1865 where the gruesome Civil War battle is still raging on. General Ulysses S. Grant, of the Union North, is in hot pursuit of General Robert E. Lee, of the Confederate South. Lee’s army is one of the last Confederate armies standing in the way of a Union victory. Lee, however, has been slowly making his way to the Carolinas where his freedom will be secured, insuring neither victory nor defeat for the Confederate South. However, President Abraham Lincoln cannot afford the escape of General Robert E. Lee because Lincoln is extremely eager to end the war and begin the process of healing this broken nation. Lincoln orders General Grant to hunt down Lee and capture him before he can make his escape. Grant plans to burn High Bridge, the only escape route for General Lee. However, due to a lack of sufficient fuel the bridge does not burn and Lee is able to cross allowing the chase to ensue further. The Union army eventually captures General Lee on April 9, 1865, however, not after losing many soldiers in the battles the previous days. General Lee is finally captured and forced to surrender to seemingly generous terms. The Civil War is finally over.
    With the Union victory, President Lincoln has achieved his goal and now can begin his work on bandaging the nation. Lincoln knew, but little did he want to believe, that many Confederate sympathizers were extremely unhappy with the result of the war and wanted vengeance on the President of the United States. Hence, the plots against Lincoln’s life start to unfold. Among the conspirators is the famous actor John Wilkes Booth who is by no means happy with the outcome of the war. Booth despises and has previously attempted to take the President’s life at his inaugural speech, but was stopped just short of killing the President. Fueled by this rage, the actor gathers up a band of several other Confederate sympathizers, and heads to Washington D.C. where their plans will unfold. In an effort to enjoy the Union victory President Lincoln is convinced by his wife to attend the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. On the night of April 14, 1865, as the play is heading into the third act John Wilkes Booth, after having meticulously planned this day, slips into the Presidential box and as an actor says a funny line Booth shoots the sixteenth President in the back of his head with his Derringer. The President would die later in the night. The ending is one that we all know. Booth is hunted down and, several days after the assassination, is killed in a barn with a bullet penetrating his vertebra killing him almost instantly.
    Bill O’Reilly does a tremendously well job of depicting the story and turns history into a thriller. O’Reilly tells the story with such precision and detail that it feels as though you are walking the streets of Washington D.C in 1865. This is a page turning novel that will leave you wanting more. I recommend this book for all and rate it a five stars out of five.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    EXCELLENT!

    Never read it like this before Its like learning history with a new set of eyes and ears! SPECTACULAR!

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2011

    LINCOLN

    An outstanding and informative book. Very difficult to put down. So sad that Lincoln was cut down when he could have done so much more for the country he loved.

    KD

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    Terrific Book!

    Killing Lincoln was a terrific book and hard to put down! I learned a lot of information I never knew before and enjoyed the format they used. This type of format should be used to teach our children American History. It makes it seem real and not dull and boring.

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2011

    Hard to put down!

    Excellent read!

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    Cool book

    Cool book

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2011

    Good book

    Exilent and perfect bill o`rilley is good

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Inr Interesting

    I don't claim to be a student of History, which is why it surprised me by keeping my attention! It gives the reader a glimpse of post Civil War temperment and timeline.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    Wonderful

    I like history and bill. Great book

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Great read

    Nice book

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2011

    Great Read

    It is a great read. I am fustrated that there are so many unanswered questions as in President Kennedy's assassination. No wonder there are so many conspriacy theories.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Boring and historically inaccurate

    Could not finish book. Fact checking , grammar, caused me to constantly stop reading this book. Thankful that official Lincoln historians and museums etc will not carry or sell this lazy attempt at rewriting history. Do not buy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2012

    Heart Pounding Read!

    Honestly, we all know how the story ends, I mean it's grade school stuff, right? But this book is written in a fashion that made it read like a thriller novel. Ignore all the buffoons who are ripping on this book, it's really and truly exciting to read! I could not put it down. The only minor quibble that I have is there is a tendency to allude to future happenings at the end of many chapters-it got a bit tiring after a while. But other than that I really liked this book. I got my wife a hard cover copy (I'm a nook user) for Mother's Day and she loved it too. Say what you will about O'Reilly and his politics (even though I consider him to be rather centrist politically) the guy wrote a really good book that is really enjoyable to read. Anyone who says otherwise because of O'Reilly's Fox show is just being intellectually dishonest.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    Really interesting

    Great read

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    I love it

    Im only twelve and I still love this book

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lincoln

    someone just didn't have a enough time to do more what he could

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Should be required reading in all school history classes.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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