Bill O’Reilly… He is the controversial figure with his own segment (The O’Reilly Factor) on Fox News. Some may hate him, some may love him, but we all must agree after reading Killing Lincoln, a retelling of Abraham Lincoln written in 2011, he is an amazing writer.
The work Killing Lincoln pieces together Abraham Lincoln’s final days alive. It starts at the beginning of the end of the Civil War. With the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, along with several of the last final battles, it feels as if you’re there watching them, witnessing the tragedies and death of the final moments of the Civil War. The reader feels Lincoln’s love for his country, and John Booth’s, Lincoln’s assassinator, loathing for the Union’s cause. It really goes into depth and quality of not just a couple, but ALL of the characters and components of these few fateful days. From Booth’s co-conspirators to even General Ulysses S. Grant’s wife, he covers all aspects of the heroic, yet underlying tragic days.
From the very beginning of the story the reader immediately delves into Abraham Lincoln’s perspective. The details are startling and chilling. Even the first chapter leaves the reader captivated as it begins the story with Mr. Lincoln pacing the steamboat known as The River Queen out in broad daylight. Each of these events that O’Reilly captures are surprising and make up each of the characters personalities. Such examples are Lincoln’s fearlessness of walking The River Queen in broad daylight without any protection from nearby Confederates, or the determinedness of the Confederate soldiers as they marched towards Amelia Court House in hopes of food and supplies in chapter 4. There’s even a small detail in chapter 38 about Joseph Burroughs, nicknamed “Peanut John” who held John Booth’s horse, unknowing of the fact that Booth was about to kill the most historical man in American History.
Because all of these details are true, it makes for such a great book. O’really’s style of writing gives the reader a sort of heritage of American History, while also telling of heroic battles and detailed conversations, that even if they weren’t accurate, would still make Killing Lincoln an epic read. While reading this, I almost felt like I had a seat at the theatre where Lincoln was killed. It was difficult for me to put the book down.