393 of 611 people found the following review helpful
A History of "Should Have Beens",
This review is from: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever (Hardcover)
There are many who criticize "Killing Lincoln" as "sloppy history," "a long, rather boring, string of lies," or "an ahistorical vanity project foisted on a passionately credulous fan base by an egomaniacal serial prevaricator." I think it's more than that. It's the culmination of a lifetime of effort on Mr. O'Reilly's part to establish a new kind of truth, a truth based more on what one man believes "should have been" rather than such unreliable things as facts.
Despite it's many errors, I believe it to be one of the greatest historical works of all time. Forget Barbara Tuchman, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Rick Perlstein; "Killing Lincoln" confirms O'Reilly as the greatest historian since Melvin Dummar.
It's all there: the burning of Ford's theater a year later than records indicate, the first confirmation that Lee stood Grant up after surrendering at Appomattox, and the hundreds of other "should have beens" O'Reilly so boldly proclaims within this book.
Unfortunately, I cannot give "Killing Lincoln" five stars. O'Reilly leaves out too many great "should have beens" that would of added immensely to the book. Lincoln would have appeared to be a much greater man had he won two Peabody Awards for journalism and was born in Leavittown.
Additionally, it would have made for much spicier reading had O'Reilly claimed that Abraham "The Factor" Lincoln had "courted" Harriet Beecher Stowe by sending her late night, laudanum-fueled telegraph messages or added chapters on Lincoln's love for 7" Loofa Sponges and Professional Falafel Scoop Scooper tools. That's something all great men do.
And where are the claims that William H. Seward was a filthy communist hippy or that Edwin M. Stanton was secretly allied with Hitler? One has to wonder if the publisher exercised a bit too much editorial control.
Hopefully, Mr. O'Reilly will not allow such criticisms to dissuade him from writing additional histories. Like that other great historian, Baron Karl von Münchhausen, he may not receive the accolades he deserves during his lifetime, but his legacy will be timeless.
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Showing 1-10 of 114 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2011 8:14:17 PM PST
I've been reading all of your reviews. You have a real gift, my friend.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2011 11:45:48 PM PST
N. Syed says:
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 4:34:05 AM PST
It really is the best pure adulterated history since Newt's book on Gettysburg. Made up facts are always better than "true" facts.
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 4:50:01 AM PST
James Corrigan says:
Sir, General Sir!
Once again, another fine review. I'm a little surprised that O'Reilly didn't explore the emerging belief that Lincoln hired Booth to disguise his suicide. He's usually so well informed.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 5:20:13 AM PST
You got me. It's true. My sister is also named Gen. JC Christian, patriot.
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 5:31:16 AM PST
D. Williams says:
I guess we can just be thankful that Mr. O'Reilly is no longer teaching susceptible young ones in a classroom and narrows his attention now to Fox News viewers who have a disdain for actual history.
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 6:15:52 AM PST
Steven Gregson says:
A fine review as per usual!
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 7:48:06 AM PST
Betty Sylva says:
Sounds like this person is critiqueing O'Reilly more than the book. Bias, bias, bias.
Posted on Nov 14, 2011 7:48:20 AM PST
Whoa...what is going on here with the sudden hundreds of one star reviews??? I just got as far as the first 20 pages of the one star reviews, and they were all posted on NOV 8th...and each one has heavy voting!! The vast amount of the first 10 reviews, on page one of the one star reviews, were by people who only read one book...The Killing of Lincoln! This stinks of a huge organized crusade to trash O'Reilly. Not impressed with Amazon allowing itself to be used in such a manner, and denigrate their respected book review format. Posted NOV 14, 2011.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 8:02:16 AM PST
I too am disgusted that so many would criticize Bill O'Reilly, a man with all the class of a Herman Cain.