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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Researched and Detailed Account of Lincoln Plot, August 25, 2002
This review is from: Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (Hardcover)
This meticulously researched and reasoned book by Edward Steers both tells the story of Lincoln's Assassination and builds the case against those involved.
Much of the book reads like a detective story. Since Lincoln's death, various publicity seekers, conspiracy buffs and doubters have disputed various aspects of the story. The issues Steers deals with -- and convincingly -- are ones that have plagued the assassination story for a long time. By assembling documentary evidence from a vast array of sources, Steers builds strong cases that: Dr. Mudd was a part of the conspiracy to capture Lincoln and was a confederate of Booth -- and was expecting to help Booth escape from Washington; Mary Surratt was also a part of the conspiracy and thus justly convicted; the harebrained conspiracy theories involving Vice President Johnson or Sec. of War Stanton in the assassination are just that; The Confederate Secret service was active in supporting a kidnapping of Lincoln, knew Booth and provided him with resources; the top levels of the Confederate government (including Jefferson Davis) were aware of kidnap schemes (though no claim is made that Davis or others in the Confederate high command knew of or supported the assassination plot).
The book deftly does several things. While telling the story of the assassination plot and Confederate secret service activities, it builds the case implicating individuals found guilty by the government but whose involvement has been questioned over the years. Steers also tells of and demolishes notions that Booth really escaped and that an imposter was buried in his tomb -- notions that had some currency in the early Twentieth Century. Steers provides a thorough examination of the case of Dr. Mudd -- proving his complicity in the Lincoln conspiracy and rebuking those family members who to this day try to exonerate Mudd as an innocent doctor who executed his Hippocratic Oath for the lame Booth when he came calling to his home after the murder. (Steers has also written a book solely on this topic "His Name Is Still Mudd")
This is an impressive work. Steers deftly melds both the story of Lincoln's assignation plot with the detective work proving the case against those who claim mistake or cover-up. It is well written and makes good use of primary sources. Although I have read and enjoyed "The Day Lincoln Was Shot," I'd have to rate this as the Lincoln assassination book to read.
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