Lincoln and Booth: More Light on the Conspiracy

Overview

Was the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln a Confederate Operation? Conspiracy, terrorism, and obstruction of justice are not unique to recent events, and maneuvering and scheming behind the scenes has a long history. On an April evening, John Wilkes Booth crept into the presidential box at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., and shot President Abraham Lincoln. Many have wondered ever since if there was not a wider conspiracy associated with the assassination. Lincoln and Booth: More Light on the Conspiracy takes ...

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Overview

Was the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln a Confederate Operation? Conspiracy, terrorism, and obstruction of justice are not unique to recent events, and maneuvering and scheming behind the scenes has a long history. On an April evening, John Wilkes Booth crept into the presidential box at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., and shot President Abraham Lincoln. Many have wondered ever since if there was not a wider conspiracy associated with the assassination. Lincoln and Booth: More Light on the Conspiracy takes up these questions, examining the people, issues, and strange happenings related to the assassination and its aftermath. Using the tools of investigative journalism and the latest in scholarly research, H. Donald Winkler describes the events that led to the shooting of the president, including Booth's activities from July 1864 through April 1865, raising questions never before raised and suggesting answers never before considered. Winkler has pulled together relevant, reliable information about the terrorism, intrigue, mysteries, covert actions, betrayals, deceptions, jury tampering, obstruction of justice, subterfuge, execution by trickery, dirty politics, and other shameful acts associated with the assassination. All the controversial issues are considered, including the likely guilt of Samuel Mudd and Mary Surratt, official Confederate involvement, John Surratt's gratuitous reprieve, the veracity of Louis Weichmann, and John S. Mosby's possible involvement. Also discussed are Edwin M. Stanton's motives and decisions related to denying protection to Lincoln on April 14; hurriedly naming and pursuing conspirators; concealing Booth's diary; hanging Mary Surratt while failing topursue John Surratt; hiring Sandford Conover to find witnesses; and collaborating with the Radical Republicans in their efforts to impeach Andrew Johnson. Lincoln and Booth: More Light on the Conspiracy discusses the various possibilities and options on controversial issues and challenges readers to draw their own conclusions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The 138-year manhunt continues in this engrossing but tendentious and inconclusive reassessment of Lincoln assassination conspiracy theories. Winkler (The Women in Lincoln's Life) draws on a wealth of recent scholarship to examine every circumstance and person surrounding the assassination. He makes a credible case that John Wilkes Booth was part of an extensive Confederate plot-perhaps reaching up to Jefferson Davis-to kidnap or kill Lincoln. But his attempts to implicate high officials in Washington are unpersuasive. At various moments, suspects include Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and even Lincoln's wife, but Winkler turns up little beyond a chain of unfortunate coincidences-some the fault of Lincoln himself-that left the President virtually unguarded on that fateful night at Ford's Theater. He insists that Booth must have learned of the President's vulnerability from highly placed informants, but it's more plausible that Booth simply counted on the well-known and habitual laxity of Lincoln's security arrangements. Winkler amasses much colorful detail about the Confederate underground that aided Booth, and gives a fascinating account of the secret Civil War of espionage, bio-terrorism (Southern plotters tried to spread yellow fever in the North) and what a later age would call "covert ops." Ultimately, though, the relevant collusion was between Booth's fanaticism in an already lost cause and Lincoln's fatalistic disregard for his own safety. Despite Winkler's dark intimations of betrayal and cover-up, this story is more tragedy than mystery. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581823424
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,459,391
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

H. Donald Winkler
H. Donald Winkler is a professional journalist, historian, and retired university public-affairs executive. The recipient of 84 national awards, In 1991 he was cited by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for "professional endeavors that have strengthened the entire fabric of American education."
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2005

    interesting but flawed

    a good book, but full of opinion based on circumstantial assertions, then put forth as fact, and almost totally lacking in footnotes. He quotes authors nowhere to be found in the bibliography. A lot of good ideas, but cannot be taken seriously.

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