Review: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

O’Reilly, Bill and Martin Dugard. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever. New York: Holt, 2011.

I have long been fascinated and appalled by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I have read many books and articles about it, and this is probably the most readable thanks to its narrative approach. It’s difficult to build suspense with such a familiar subject, but O’Reilly and Dugard manage to do so. The story unfolds slowly, and readers are never allowed to forget what is to come, thanks to dated chapters and frequent references to the number of days or hours Lincoln or others have to live. Several times while reading I wanted to check the source for a quote, but the authors did not include footnotes or even chapter endnotes. These would have been welcome, and their absence is what keeps this title from getting a five-star rating. The listing of sources by chapters at the end of the book is simply not enough to identify which source contained specific details. Nevertheless, readers are likely to find new insight in these pages, gain new admiration for Lincoln, and be left wondering how this nation might be different had he survived.


About kstreet245

I'm a teacher librarian with Norman Public Schools and adjunct instructor for children's literature at the University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies. I've been married to Ken since 1975, and we have two wonderful children, both married. We have no grandchildren, but instead are "owned" by three dachshunds. We are active members of Country Estates Baptist Church in Midwest City, OK, teaching Sunday School, playing handbells, keyboards, and percussion, and singing in the choir. I enjoy reading, crafts, travel, and nice, long naps when I can work them in!
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