AuthorsDen.com  Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: R.M. Doyon, iAuntie Val, iAnn Marquette, iDavid Litwack, iJennifer Chase, iBino Pires, iJeff Ovall, i
  Home > Biography > Articles
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

David A. Schwinghammer

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 226 titles
· 181 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
·
Member Since: Dec, 2007

   Sitemap
   My Blog
   Contact Author
   Message Board
   Read Reviews

Books
· Soldier's Gap


Short Stories
· Seminary Boy, a memoir

· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine

· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight

· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight

· Bereavement Blues

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7

· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'


Articles
· The God Particle

· Empire of Sin, book review

· SCIENCE AT THE EDGE, book review

· Obama, a Modern Caesar?

· Americans Need to Pull Together

· Voices of the French Revolution, book review

· Great American Scandals

· Odd Man Out, book review

· Portrait of a Killer, book review

· Capital in the 21st Century, book review


Poetry
· Myth

· Alumni Game

· Stradivarius

· Snow-a-holic

· Girls Who Wear Glasses

· The Do Drop Inn

· Ode to Neve Campbell

· Jacks or Better 101

· Never My Love

· 3 O'Clock

         More poetry...

David A. Schwinghammer, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

John Wilkes Booth (book review)
By David A. Schwinghammer
Last edited: Friday, July 03, 2009
Posted: Friday, July 03, 2009



Share    Print   Save  Become a Fan
Recent articles by
David A. Schwinghammer

• The God Particle
• Empire of Sin, book review
• SCIENCE AT THE EDGE, book review
• Obama, a Modern Caesar?
• Americans Need to Pull Together
• Voices of the French Revolution, book review
• Great American Scandals
           >> View all 145
Much of what we know about the Lincoln assassination is misrepresentation.



AMERICAN BRUTUS starts with the assassination of Lincoln. Kauffman quotes just about everybody who was at Ford's theater when it happened: audience members, stage hands, actors etc. Then he moves to the initial investigations and the several law enforcement officers and detectives who were on the trail of the killers. It's hard to keep everybody straight.

Not until Chapter Five do we get a glimpse of Booth's background. His father was also an actor and seemed to get along well with the "rented" slaves he kept. Junius Booth Sr. had no problem with negroes eating at the same table. Kauffman suggests that military school may have had something to do with Booth's attitude toward blacks.

Kauffman hypothesizes that Booth saw himself as a Brutus character. According to Booth, Lincoln was a tyrant, like Julius Caesar, who had trampled on the Constitution. In the picture section, we see John Wilkes acting with his brothers in Julius Caesar, although he played Mark Antony to Edwin's Brutus. Kauffman says John Wilkes played many such characters throughout his career.

There are several other illuminating hypotheses in AMERICAN BRUTUS. One would be that Booth tried to implicate anyone he talked to about the plot, plus several other innocent bystanders. He shows how Dr. Mudd was "set up" by Booth and Surratt. He also shows how Booth tried to do this with Vice President Johnson by leaving him a note prior to the assassination.

Kauffman also works hard at exploding several misconceptions about the assassination. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton is shown taking charge after Lincoln was shot. Far from hating Lincoln, he was genuinely fond of the president. Also, John Wilkes Booth did not break his leg when he jumped from Lincoln's box. Kauffman shows that this notion came from the journal Booth kept during his flight, which was packed with other deliberate fabrications. Most surprising for me, I guess, was Kauffman's portrayal of Lewis Thornton Powell. The myth has it that Powell was insane, but Kauffman shows that Powell's lawyer used an insanity defense during the trail, which may have given historians a wrong idea; Powell was a member of Mosby's Rangers prior to the assassination and faced death bravely.

The trial segment was kind of dull. Eight people were tried by a military tribunal, including a woman. The prosecution did not have to furnish all of the evidence it found to the various defense attorneys. Some of the testimony was faked. Yet, four of the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment and were eventually pardoned by President Johnson as he left office.

For me, the Coda was the most interesting part of the book as the reader gets to find out what happened to all of the principals later on in life. Henry Rathbone, for instance, who accompanied Lincoln and his wife to the play, never fully recovered from his stabbing and eventually murdered his wife.

Tons of footnotes with occasional commentary within. I'm still reading them.

Web Site Mystery Writer
f

Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!



Books by
David A. Schwinghammer



Soldier's Gap

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..


Popular
Biography Articles
  1. Michael Cole -- Pete Cochran from The Mod
  2. I Was a Male War Bride - the real story
  3. My Stats 1/12/14
  4. The Communist--Book Review
  5. Browne Has Big Plans After Departing Anoth
  6. Ralph Carmichael: A Great American Musici
  7. The Loss of Something Precious
  8. The Pulp Jungle--Book Review
  9. Duty--Book Review
  10. Max Brand, the Big Westerner--Book Review
  11. Ayn Rand and the World She Made by Anne C.
  12. Are we doomed?
  13. Michael Jackson's Message on a Napkin, Hav
  14. Meet the Real Deals of NYC Fortune Telling
  15. Taylor & Stanwyck: The First Meeting
  16. FROM BIG CROOK TO BIG LAW
  17. Sons of Wichita--Book Review
  18. Stumbling Toward a Bio for Doc PenPen
  19. Vincent and Theo: Brotherly Love of the In
  20. A Unique Autobiography

You can also search authors by alphabetical listing: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen

AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.