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Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever Hardcover – Illustrated, September 27, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


As a history major, I wish my required reading had been as well written as this truly vivid and emotionally engaging account of Lincoln's assassination. And as a former combat infantry officer, I found myself running for cover at the Civil War battle scenes. This is the story of an American tragedy that changed the course of history. If you think you know this story, you don't until you've read Killing Lincoln. Add historian to Bill O'Reilly's already impressive résumé. (Nelson DeMille, author of The Lion and The Gold Coast)

Killing Lincoln is a must read historical thriller. Bill O'Reilly recounts the dramatic events of the spring of 1865 with such exhilarating immediacy that you will feel like you are walking the streets of Washington, DC, on the night that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln. This is a hugely entertaining, heart-stopping read. (Vince Flynn, author of American Assassin)

If Grisham wrote a novel about April 1865…it might well read like Killing Lincoln. (Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek)

[Killing Lincoln] delivers a taut, action-packed narrative with cliff-hangers aplenty... (The Christian Science Monitor)

[Killing Lincoln] is nonfiction, albeit told in white-knuckled, John Grisham-like style. (New York Post)

About the Author

Bill O'Reilly is the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor, the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He is the author of many number-one bestselling books, including Killing Kennedy, Killing Jesus, and Killing Patton.

Martin Dugard is the New York Times bestselling author of several books of history. He and his wife live in Southern California with their three sons.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805093079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805093070
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7,931 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,405 of 1,611 people found the following review helpful By history_bookworm on January 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It seems that most reviews of the book are by one of two types of reviewers: 1. the reviewer either loves or hates O'Reilly, or 2. the reviewer either loved or hated how it was written. Here is my take, leaving the personal feelings about the author aside, Killing Lincoln delivers on its mission. Many rip O'Reilly apart for it not being an in depth treatment of his death and surrounding events. Here's a news flash: it's not supposed to be. It is not written as a doctoral dissertation on the subject nor is it intended to be. It is not intended to give every detail about what happened. It is intended to be an engaging read that follows the events surrounding Lincoln's last days. It is intended to be written from the perspective of putting the reader on the streets of D.C. during those days, putting you into Ford's Theater the night of the killing. In that regard it delivers. Here is my recommendation for this book: give this book to someone that you want to get interested in history. Give it to a student and let them see that history does not have to be boring. Give it to someone that loves novels, but hates non-fiction and let them discover how engaging and important history is and can be. On that level O'Reilly delivers.
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445 of 528 people found the following review helpful By LAM on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. First, since it seems to be an issue in the reviews, Mr. O'Reilly and I are opposites politically. I never watch his show. After reading the reviews, I bought, instead, Edward Steers' Blood on the Moon. I am sorry, I know it is well researched, and painstakingly accurate, but it didn't keep my attention. After several weeks, I was only at 17% in my Kindle when I decided to buy Bill O'Reilly's book. WOW! I could not put it down and read it in two sittings. You feel like you are right there watching the events. I have never experienced Civil War battles as I did these. I have never really known Abraham Lincoln before now. I have never fully appreciated the reasons behind the war. While reading, I was on the battlefield, I shared Mr. Lincoln's thoughts and feelings, I was there with the young doctor tending to Lincoln after he was shot, and I experienced John Wilkes Booth's pain as he attempted to escape after breaking his leg. This book is powerful. This book takes you there, and you will long remember the names and events. This is the best book I have read in a long time. Thank you, Mr. O'Reilly.
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2,348 of 2,881 people found the following review helpful By Anthony B. Ford on October 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who has studied Lincoln and books on the assassination since I was about 8 (that would be, sigh, about 50 years), I figured I'd give O'Reilly's book a try, assuming that since he had written it so shortly after some great Lincoln books (Abraham Lincoln: A Life, by Michael Burlingame; Blood on the Moon by Edward Steers) that there must be something unique about it. Unfortunately, I came away not really seeing what the new approach was. While it is supposedly written like a thriller, I find it to be prone to abbreviation and errors as noted by one of the one-star reviewers here (i.e. talking about the Oval Office, which was not built when Lincoln was president, but in 1909 when Taft was president, and a gross misrepresentation of how Mary Surratt was treated -- she NEVER wore a hood while imprisoned, and she was NEVER on the "Montauk", etc.). Throwing in a long-discredited conspiracy theory supposedly linking Secretary of War Edwin Stanton into the mix was completely unnecessary, unless the idea was to give readers already convinced that JFK was assassinated by space aliens something new to obsess over. A list of errors written by the Assistant Superintendent of the Ford's Theatre Historical Site, by no means complete, but enough for the NPS Eastern National bookstore at Ford's Theatre to avoid selling this book, may easily be found on the internet (I will be glad to give you the link if you can't find it). The Theatre gift shop IS selling it, but not the National Park Service store, due to inaccuracies. You will see many reviews here (five-star ones) stating that "this book was not written for historians." Does that mean that lousy research is just fine for the unwashed masses?Read more ›
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679 of 897 people found the following review helpful By K. Honeyager on February 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have no comment on the book, as I came here to read some of the reviews prior to purchase. Upon arrival to this page, I found it fascinating that a book could have almost as many 1-star reviews as 5-star reviews. Why, something must be amiss! Having nothing better to do on a dreary Sunday afternoon, I set out to count the number of Amazon Verified Purchases of the 1-star reviewers. Much to my surprise and dismay, there were only FOUR (yes, 4) Verified purchases out of 1,158 reviews. How could this be? Could it be that people just come here (having purchased the book from other sources, of course) to review the book to help out the Amazon faithful?

After having traversed 116 pages of one star reviews to count up those Verified purchases, I really didn't feel like doing the same for the 5-star ratings, but in the interest of science I set out to do the count. Well, after finding SIX Verified purchases on only the first page of 5-star reviews, I got occupied (whoops - I meant lazy) and decided that statistically, it just made more sense to trust those 5-star reviewers whom I knew actually purchased the book.

I would appreciate it if Amazon could add a filter to the review page so that one could see the ratings from Amazon Verified Purchases only. Perhaps then the ratings might actually be meaningful.

Thank you to all the 1-star reviewers who took the time to perform the selfless act of coming to Amazon's web site, creating a login, and posting your review. However, I can't shake this nagging feeling that perhaps you really didn't come here to review the book, but maybe had some other agenda. Eh, it's probably just me. I'm sure nobody else feels that way.
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