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Beware the People Weeping: Public Opinion and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Paperback – September 1, 1991

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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About the Author

Thomas Reed Turner is chairman of the Department of History at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807117226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807117224
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,353,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Turner has written an enjoyable book about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It is not really a full account of any particular event of the assassination, manhunt, conspiracy trials (including John Surratt and, as Turner describes it, the 'trial within a trial' of Confederate leaders), etc, but rather (in a vein similar to Hanchett's 'The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies') a discussion about how previous historians had misinterpreted facts, or over-interpreted facts. There is, unfortunately, a fair bit of griping about previous scholarship on the topic, but thankfully the book is much more than that.

I appreciated how Turner discussed Joseph Holt and Edwin Stanton, as they related to the events surrounding the trial and manhunt, respectively. In Holt's case in particular, he is not talked about in more detail, that I have found, than in this book. Turner allows us to see more of the man than just his performance at Judge Advocate during the conspiracy trial. The window into his later life is both interesting and welcome.

This last point, relating to Holt, is one of the better things I found in Turner's book. He spends many pages talking about the post-1865 lives of some of the major players. The later years of Louis Weichmann fleshed out a life that, to me, used to belong to merely a prosecution witness and one-time border at Mary Surratt's. To read about how the events of April 1865 affected lives far beyond even that decade was fascinating.

I would, in the end, make sure to read Hanchett's book or Steers 'Blood on the Moon' before reading this one. This book is not bad, certainly, but other books are just... better. As a follow-up to other Lincoln and Booth books, or for additional, tangential information, this book is quite good, but it is more suited to the aficionado!
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