Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2018
I had to call this a 4, because of some flaws, but I enjoyed it tremendously. I love courtroom dramas, and this one was real! Plus it was Abraham Lincoln! It is well-told, sounding more like a novel than nonfiction, although there is lots of very interesting history woven in. I especially appreciated the legal history, e.g., I had no idea that in 1859 a defendant could NOT testify at his trial, because he could not be expected to tell the truth! This is a fascinating book, and it has favorable blurbs from people like Diane Sawyer and Jeffrey Toobin.
But does NO ONE pay attention to details??? Or have someone read the book before it is published??? (Maybe that explains why there are so many bugs in the software I use these days!) I am tired of things like reading that Hitt was "finishing a glorious supper. The Globe's cook had prepared spicy lamb chops." And then two pages later it says "Hitt savored his beefsteak and fried onions." Unless he ate dinner twice, there is something wrong. And there are WAY TOO MANY sentence fragments that any reasonable person would have corrected if they read it a second time.
The second shortcoming is maybe insurmountable. The book is based on ACTUAL transcripts of the testimony, quoted verbatim, and more often than I would expect I found it hard to understand. Probably it was easier to understand if you heard the tone of the person's voice or were accustomed to the way people spoke in that era and that area.
Those flaws are not enough to refrain from reading the book, though, if you are at all interested in history or enjoy courtroom stories.
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse Permalink

Product Details

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
907 global ratings