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The Trial: The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspirators Hardcover – July 31, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 552 pages
  • Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky (July 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813122775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813122779
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,184,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A valuable work.... Even casual perusers will find passages that tell them something interesting about some of the Confederacy's more sinister schemes, as well as the political atmosphere of immediate postbellum America." -- Books and Culture

"Steers has edited an important book in Pitman's trial documents, making it generally available to modern readers." -- Civil War Book Review

"Qualifies as the single most important volume on the Lincoln assassination." -- Joseph Edward Garrera

"Brings together a special edition of the trial transcript and ninety pages of commentaries by modern authorities on testimony deemed important to both the prosecution and the defense." -- Journal of Illinois History

"An invaluable reference work and a book that anyone with a serious interest in the Lincoln conspiracy ought to own." -- Journal of Southern History

"The Lincoln scholar, and even those with a less consuming interest in the murder of the Savior of the Union, will find this book fascinating." -- Signal Flag

"Succeeds in gathering under one cover the essential and unvarnished details of that tragic and twisted affair, including the shadowy presence of the Confederate Secret Service." -- The Washington Times

"Now readers have easy access to a vital original source document." -- William Hanchett

"Edward Steers Jr., an accomplished historian who has written informative books on Lincoln's assassination, offers a fairly light hearted- but fully documented- look at some of the legends and myths that have bedeviled our understanding of the 16th president and his times." -- Bowling Green Daily News

"Steers is meticulous but never boring, and readers will be fascinated by the variety of tales told about Lincoln's life and death." -- Indiana Magazine of History

""Under the guidance of the experts -- Steers's line-up is truly expert -- readers will be able to distinguish between fact and fancy and come away with a far better understanding of Lincoln's assassination. Everyone with a general or scholarly interest in the assassination and the war will want to have this book." -- William Hanchett, author of The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies" --

""Brings significant value to the field of Lincoln studies. Edward Steers is the nation's leading authority on the Lincoln assassination. His activities as a lecturer and a scholar have developed an impressive network in the Lincoln historical community." -- Joseph Edward Garrera, President, Lincoln Group of New York" --

"Beginning with essays by Steers and other Lincoln scholars about Booth and the eight people arrested as part of the conspiracy, most of the book consists of testimony and legal arguments from the trial transcript. Far from a slipshod investigation, the case looks pretty strong against those accused, with witness testifying to their various meetings before the assassination. Fascinating stuff for history buffs. -- The Hancock News" -- Hancock News

"Reading about something is one thing, but reading the actual testimony - for instance, a witness's play-by-play of John Wilkes Booth's final moments - made the event real in a way I'd never experienced before. I had no idea that Ulysses S. Grant and General Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton's grandson) were among those who testified, or that so much energy was invested in tying the conspirators to ongoing intrigues wiht the Confederate Secret Service. In addition, the actual protocols and arguments are fascinating, taking you through the nuts and bolts of trying a case of such magnitude. The Trial is an invaluable resource and a world-altering reading experience. -- San Francisco Book Review" -- Glen Dallas, San Francisco Book Review

"" The Trial's major strength is that it has been assembled by Edward Steers Jr., unquestionably the world-class expert on Abraham Lincoln's assassination. He has enlisted first-class assistance from other experts, each of whom provides lucid and thoughtful input."" -- Civil War News

"A first rate book that gives all of the details about Lincoln's assassination and the conspirators' trial." -- The Lone Star Book Review

" The Trial is an invaluable resource and a world-altering reading experience." -- San Francisco Book Review

About the Author

Edward Steers Jr. is the author of several books about President Lincoln and his assassination, including Lincoln: A Pictorial History, His Name is Still Mudd: The Case Against Doctor Samuel Alexander Mudd, and Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

More About the Author

Edward Steers, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania, AB, PhD), is considered the leading authority on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Ed has authored seven books on Lincoln's death including "Blood on the Moon," "The Trial," "The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators," and "The Lincoln Assassination Encyclopedia." He served as an advisor to the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and as a member of the West Virginia Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Among the honors he has received are the "Person of the Year" award from the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, the Lincoln Group of New York's "Achievement Award," and the "Lifetime Award of Achievement for Enduring Scholarship in the Field of Lincoln Research" by the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum. More recently Ed has tried his hand at fiction and published "We'LL Meet Again," a World War II novel, and "Der Tagebuch. The Journal," a story set in a small West Virginia town in the 1980s involving the escape of Adolph Hitler and murder.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Michael J Woznicki HALL OF FAME on August 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, this is commonly known by most people. But what is not known is that there were eight others who had a part in the conspiracy to kill the president.

Unlike the other books I have read on the subject; this one has very little plot, in fact the book spends more time talking about the trial rather than the events leading to the assassination. Rather the author has put together the actual court transcripts of the testimony against each of the conspirators.

After reading the text, which took about 5 hours, I learned more about those involved and even found out a few new things along the way. I found the discussion about Dr. Mudd so intriguing I spent several hours on the internet reading about him.

I found the book well documented and researched. The author has certainly seemed to leave no stone unturned. Overall this book is the best overall presentation into the murder and conspiracy I have read so far.

If you are looking for serious information about the Lincoln Assassination or just wondering what happened than this book is the place to start looking.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Abigail Scott on June 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this much-needed reprinting of Benn Pitman's transcript of the trial of the "conspirators" to assassinate President Lincoln, a new element has been added in the articles in the front. Although the trial itself remains, unfortunately, unannotated, a variety of top scholars in the field contributed articles on the conspirators and the trial itself which are both helpful & interesting. This is certainly one of the best purchases I have ever made. The list of witnesses that make Pitman the preferred version of the trial, and the charming print style left as-is, make for an enjoyable read or for helpful reference material. However, it should be kept in mind that Pitman's version is an edited copy of the original trial, with the dialogue surrounding each witness reduced to monolouge testimony, and some confusing areas eliminated or altered. Nonetheless, this is a valuable resource.

I would recommend accompanying this book with Carmen Cumming's Devil's Game: The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham, which helps the reader understand the confusing testimony of Sanford Conover, the alias of Charles Dunham.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. West on March 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few weeks ago I wrote a bad review of this book. I suppose it was just because I had a bad day at the office so to speak. I had quickly scanned through the book and at first glance it wasn't what i thought it would be. But after actually taking the time to read it I was overwhelmed and felt bad about the review I gave earlier. This is a great book with good insight by many of the leading Lincoln scholars. So i stand corrected and highly recommend this book.
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