Barbara L. Talcroft
Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Boothby James Cross Giblin
On April 14, 1865, five days after the end of the Civil War, John Wilkes Booth fired a single shot and changed the course of American history. His infamous deed cost him his life and brought notoriety and shame to his family-particularly his elder brother, the renowned actor Edwin Booth. From that day forward, Edwin would be known as "the brother of the man who killed President Lincoln."
In many ways, the Booth brothers were two of a kind. They were among America's finest actors, having inherited from their father, Junius Brutus Booth, a commanding stage presence and a rich, expressive voice. They also inherited Junius's penchant for alcohol and impulsive behavior. In other respects, the two brothers were very different. Edwin's introspective nature made him the perfect actor to play Hamlet, while John, with his dashing good looks and passionate intensity, excelled in romantic roles. They also stood at opposite poles politically. Edwin voted for Abraham Lincoln; John was an ardent advocate of the Confederacy.
Award-winning author James Cross Giblin draws on first-hand accounts of family members, friends, and colleagues to create a vivid image of John Wilkes, the loving son and brother who became an assassin. Equally clear is the picture of Edwin, who battled his own weaknesses and emerged a pivotal figure in the development of the American theater.
Comprehensive and compelling, this dual portrait illuminates a dark and tragic moment in the nation's history and explores the complex legacy of two leading men-one revered, the other abhorred.
Barbara L. Talcroft
* "Giblin is brilliant . . . breathtaking clarity . . . readers will be engrossed until the very last footnote."—Booklist,starred review "Giblin raises his biographical curtain . . . opens a wealth of avenues for further reading . . . put[s] faces to the history."—Horn Book
• "The writing is engaging and eminently readable . . . consummate storytelling. What a story! This is nonfiction at its finest."—School Library Journal, starred review
• "Compelling . . . fascinating biography of brothers during a time of war . . . readable and interesting."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review "[A] dual biography by a master of the art . . . Giblin weaves high drama."—The Washington Post Book World "[Giblin] offers a particularly poignant picture . . . relates the fraternal saga with verve as well as diligence."—Bulletin
What People are Saying About This
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Giblin raises his biographical curtain....opens a wealth of avenues for further reading...put[s] faces to the history." HORN BOOK Horn Book
"The writing is engaging and eminently readable...consummate storytelling. What a story! This is nonfiction at its finest." SLJ, starred School Library Journal, Starred
"Compelling...fascinating biography of brothers during a time of war....readable and interesting." KIRKUS, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"[A] dual biography by a master of the art...Giblin weaves high drama." The Washington Post BOOK WORLD The Washington Post
"Giblin...offers a particularly poignant picture...relates the fraternal saga with verve as well as diligence." BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Meet the Author
James Cross Giblin (1933-2016) was the author of more than twenty critically acclaimed books for young people. His book The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler received the Robert F. Sibert Award for Informational Books.
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