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Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
by James L. Swanson

Published: 2006-02-01
Hardcover : 464 pages
3 members reading this now
13 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history -- the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the ...
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Introduction

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history -- the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, America's notorious villain. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South's defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the manhunters, slipping away from their every move and denying them the justice they sought.

Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln's own blood relics, Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

Chapter One

"I Had This Strange Dream Again Last Night"

John Wilkes Booth awoke Good Friday morning, April 14, 1865, hungover and depressed. The Confederacy was dead. His cause was lost and his dreams of glory over. He did not know that this day, after enduring more than a week of bad news and bitter disappointments, he would enjoy a stunning reversal of fortune. No, all he knew this morning when he crawled out of bed in room 228 at the National Hotel, one of Washington's finest and naturally his favorite, was that he could not stand another day of Union victory celebrations. ... view entire excerpt...

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Read the Notes
by Michel1119 (see profile) 07/12/11
There is a lot of interesting information in the P.S. section after the index. It has inspired us to want to tour the major locations in person, now that we've visited them in print.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Fascinating!"by Michel1119 (see profile) 07/12/11

I learned a great deal about the assassination, and had several mistaken beliefs corrected. I learned much more about Booth and his attempt to escape than I expected. What an amazing story. It should be... (read more)

 
  "Manhunt"by sallyrhoover (see profile) 06/02/11

A non-fiction book that reads almost as fiction. This is the twelve day manhunt for John Wilkes Booth. Very suspensful even though we all know the outcome. Writer did repeat some things more than I... (read more)

 
  "Manhunt"by floccart (see profile) 03/25/11

The author does a great job of clarifying what happened after Lincoln was shot. Everyone seems to know about the assassination, but few know about that tumultuous time immediately after. This could have... (read more)

 
  "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer"by red99lucy (see profile) 01/26/11

So many facts that I was not aware of regarding Lincoln's death. I wish that books like this were what we read in High School History classes

 
  "This interesting, exciting account of Lincoln's assassination and the subsequent hunt for John Wilkes Booth reads like a novel."by beckys (see profile) 04/02/07

 
  "Very interesting"by wirtzv (see profile) 04/02/07

Swanson has a flair for storytelling.

 
  "Liked it, good American history"by strauba (see profile) 03/30/07

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