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Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.) Paperback – February 6, 2007
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The Greatest Manhunt in American History
For 12 days after his brazen assassination of Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was at large, and in Manhunt, historian James L. Swanson tells the vivid, fully documented tale of his escape and the wild, massive pursuit. Get a taste of the daily drama from this timeline of the desperate search.
From Publishers Weekly
Thomas has done many solid jobs of acting in all mediums since his television days on The Waltons, but it's the memories of the wide open American country tones of his flexible voice that add immeasurably to his reading of the audio version of Swanson's intensive new book about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the full-throttle hunt for the conspirators who planned and carried out the deed. Thomas's nuanced but never hyped narration serves as a seamless link between the words of the individual characters he brings to life. Some of the voices work better than others: his Lincoln is perhaps a bit too young and straightforward, especially compared to the darker, richer oratory of actors connected to the role such as Raymond Massey. But his John Wilkes Booth is just about perfect, catching the desperation and increasing lunacy of an actor getting ready for his role in history. And the other major characters—plotters, hunters, politicians, distraught family members—all bring a familiar story to exciting new life.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The prose made the book felt like a NYT bestselling crime thriller. Swanson fully captures the readers attention immediately and never let's it loose from his grasp. Swanson does not write a mini biography on Lincoln or Booth, but instead focuses almost entirely on the manhunt, which is what separates this book from others. Its narrow and complete focus makes capitivating details easy to remeber, and unleashes an insatiable desire for more information.
One thing that I wished there was more of would be accounts of the failed raids and deaths of those involved in searching for Lincoln. Dozens of volunteers and soldiers met their demise while searching for the killers through swamps and in other inhospitable terrain. Also, the death of Lafayette C Baker is unfortunately inadequately covered. I'm not a fan of the conspiracy theory involving Baker and Stanton and consider it hogwash but it would have been a felicitous excerpt.