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The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    A great Civil War detective story . . .

    The Baltimore Plot is a thorough, well-written treatment of one of those stories that you can't believe hasn't been written on before--or at least not in decades. The author does a great job presenting the story of the newly elected Abraham Lincoln's perilous trip from Springfield to D.C. in February of 1861 against a backdrop of secessionist intrigue and political uncertainty. Along the way, Kline does some excellent detective work in primary sources and newspapers as to the whodunit (or did they?) aspects of the Plot itself, painting portraits of various suspects and exploring an ominous web of connections to another famous Baltimorean, John Wilkes Booth. Even the Hitchcockian (or Poe-ish?) chapter titles ("Night Train," "An Unexpected Arrival," "The Kossuth Hat," and others) are intriguing. The book ends with a closing argument of the "prosecution" and "defense" cases and sense of foreboding about the Lincoln tragedy still to come.

    As a bonus, The Baltimore Plot is fairly brimming with illustrations (very helpful given the large cast of characters) and maps, including a particularly fine street map of Baltimore, circa 1861. Equal parts Bruce Catton and Arthur Conan Doyle, this book should land on the bedside table of Lincoln buffs and history readers everywhere and would make a great gift for those who think they know all they need to know about Old Abe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2009

    A detailed dissection

    Just finished rereading The Baltimore Plot which helped tie together the loose players and threads I had from the first reading. Reflecting upon history events seem so concrete until one realizes that there were so many possibilities for Lincolns Presidency to unravel before it began. Another reason I reread this book stems from all the negativity spewing from politicians and media about our Nation. We are damn lucky to be living in America, damn lucky that people of morality and courage prevailed in the past, proving that there are always those seeking to malign what makes us great.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2009

    I agree with James L. Swanson, author of Manhunt, this book was a "thrilling detective story of conspiracy, treachery and assassination. (from the back of the book cover)

    The Baltimore Plot was hard to put down. The story transports the reader back in time as if they are sitting on the Lincoln Special with the President elect and a contingency of some of his family and closest friends ( Judge Davis, Norman Judd, and Ward Lamon to name a few). The story, like the train, travels throughout the North East visiting town after town. While the President elect is meeting the most prominent figures of each town and making speeches to huge crowds, the people closest to him are receiving information about a Plot of assassination that is unfolding in Baltimore. I recommend this book to anyone who ever thought that American History was boring, because this book will change your mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Baltimore Plottings

    This is a large book filled with information on the plot against Lincoln on his journey to Washington in 1861. The book is filled with characters who wish to see the demise of the President-elect.Some are familiar and some are new to the general public. What this book lacks is proof that the plot existed. Most of the information is conjecture. I for one, believe the Plot existed. However, like religion, one must take it on faith alone, that it exists. The book is too long. Perhaps, the author should have saved a tree and condensed his opinions. Half this size would have gotten his point across just as well.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

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