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.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||7.40(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 12 Years|
About the Author
James Cross Giblin is the author of more than 20 critically acclaimed books for young people. His most recent book for Clarion, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler, received the Robert F. Sibert Award for Informational Books. Mr. Giblin lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||A Brother's Crime||1|
|Chapter 2||Crowing Like a Rooster||7|
|Chapter 3||"Where Are Your Spurs?"||16|
|Chapter 4||Gold Pieces and Blizzards||25|
|Chapter 5||Hamlet in Honolulu||33|
|Chapter 6||Edwin in Love||44|
|Chapter 7||Marching Off to War||56|
|Chapter 8||"He Must Come at Once!"||67|
|Chapter 9||A Spy and a Blockade Runner||76|
|Chapter 10||"When Lincoln Shall Be King"||87|
|Chapter 11||"To Whom It May Concern"||98|
|Chapter 12||"Sic Semper Tyrannis!"||110|
|Chapter 13||The Terrible Aftermath||125|
|Chapter 14||"Hunted Like a Dog"||136|
|Chapter 15||"Useless, Useless"||144|
|Chapter 16||Death by Hanging||155|
|Chapter 17||Standing Ovations||169|
|Chapter 18||Into the Furnace||179|
|Chapter 19||Targeting Edwin||188|
|Chapter 20||Triumph in Germany||198|
|Chapter 21||A Toast to the Players||207|
|Chapter 22||The Last Hamlet||216|
|Bibliography and Source Notes||223|
What People are Saying About This
"Giblin is brilliant...breathtaking clarity...readers will be engrossed until the very last footnote." BOOKLIST, starred review
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this biography of Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, and by extension the Booth family. I knew the events of the assassination of President Lincoln, but I knew very little about John Wilkes Booth and nothing at all about his older brother. It was interesting to read about the family's history and work in theatres around America and how the two brothers really had divergent points of view when it came to the Civil War. The book seems carefully researched.
The story of John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated President Lincoln, and his actor brother, Edwin who was influential in the development of American theater.
We all know the name of the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth. But I never knew anything about him.This biography, usually in-depth for youth nonfiction, narrates the life of the Booth family- John Wilkes, as well as his older brother, Edwin. These two brothers are different throughout their lives in personality as well as politics, but were both famous actors in their time. This book speaks to their childhood until Edwin's death, with the perfect amount of detail.John Wilkes Booth thought himself a hero when assassinating Lincoln, and was shocked that the South didn't approve of his homicidal deed. He imagined himself with the glory of Brutus from the Shakespeare plays he performed so well, and was heartbroken to found he was considered a scoundrel. Edwin lived many many years afterwards, always heavyhearted with shame in being known, frequently even in playbills, as brother to the man who killed America's most beloved President.I would highly recommend this book to any adult interested in learning more about the Booth family, Lincoln's death, or the Civl War. It blends these topics wonderfully and was a great read.
Why, when the Civil War had finally ended its gruesome stranglehold over the country and many Americans were in the midst of celebration, would an actor end the life of Abraham Lincoln, herald of peace? James Cross Giblin¿s Good Brother, Bad Brother attempts to address this question, as well as many other mysteries surrounding the Booth family and the events that preceded and followed that fateful night at the Fords Theater.Through an unprejudiced presentation of facts, Giblin provides a detailed account of the life and ideals of John Wilkes Booth, as well as his brother, Edwin. As the title implies, these two have historically stood in contrast with one another; Edwin, the quiet child who eventually became known as the finest Shakespearean actor in America, and John, the favorite child who sympathized with the confederacy, briefly abandoned the stage to help with the hanging of a legendary abolitionist, and notoriously murdered the president. Giblin, however, challenges this polarized public perception of the brothers by portraying their humanity and the formative influences that made them as similar as they were distinct. Each short, informative chapter represents distinct times or events and can be read independently from the rest of the narrative as they are richly informative by their own right. The book¿s organizational structure makes chapter selection easy as it allows readers to navigate to only that information which is relevant their needs. The Table of Contents provides quick reference to events in the chronology of the era, and the clear yet intricate index allows readers to find specific mentions by general terms, and goes on to categorize those terms for even more precision. The author also includes a section of Bibliography and Source Notes, where he describes those sources that were most helpful to him. He follows this with Source Notes by Chapter, which informs readers about the sources that contained the information that appeared in each chapter. These features, along with extensive photographs and historical primary source documents, are a recipe for an exceptional, browse-able biography that will captivate young readers.