Manhunt has ratings and reviews. Will said: After Booth did his thing at Ford’s theater, it took the combined forces of the United States, V. James Swanson’s vivid, well-researched book is a record of Booth’s attempt to evade capture following this daring killing, and his journey – at. Instead of the comprehensive treatment of the Lincoln conspiracy offered by Michael W. Kauffman in American Brutus (), Swanson focuses.

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He used his considerable persuasive skills to enlist a group of co-conspirators who would meet in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Mudd set Booth’s broken leg and arranged for a local carpenter to build a set of crutches; both fugitives rested at the Mudd home over night mahunt left the following day.

View all 3 comments. The drawback is sometimes the writing lays it on too thick. Really wonderful how the author draws you into the events as they are happening. Richard Mudd, has spent decades trying to prove Mudd’s innocence and obtain a presidential pardon for him. I manhhnt know too much more than the basics of the Lincoln assassination before I read this book.

James L Swanson has captured the characters admirably, covers the geography superbly and the action intensely. The hulking man who was supposed to bring down Seward stupidly showed up later at Mary Surratt’s house a few days later, bearing a pickaxe and claiming he was going to do some gardening for her.

This is absolutely the first time I’ve ever considered John Wilkes Booth as anything other than a footnote or a character in a musical.

Of course, it was what happened to Lincoln that spoiled that small town intimacy, and all the trust that went with it. All most people know about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a vaguely-remembered grade school history lesson involving a theater box, a gun and an actor named John Wilkes Booth.


Farmer Garrett himself was thrown in prison. After researching Swanson more it sounds like he really loves Lincoln, even shares his birthday. Swanson takes the reader through a concise, dramatic retelling of the titular 12 days following the assassination during which Booth attempted to cross into the more sympathetic deep south, the manhunt that comprised literally thousands of people determined to find him, and the men and women who found themselves suddenly becoming part of history when Booth sought their help.

Swansln to Read saving…. This book is exciting reading and sheds new light on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the search for his killer.

MANHUNT by James L. Swanson | Kirkus Reviews

One of the subtler revelations of this book is the intimacy of Washington in Lincoln’s time. The other point is, this book is written in such an engaging way that you might get confused about that, if only for a moment, and forget that this is indeed something that happened in the real world.

If you are interested in an exhaustive account of the last days of JW Booth, up to and including a detailed accounting of how much reward money each person involved in the manhunt received, this is the book for you. One might ask why she is not to be considered a morbid relic hunter. May 01, J. Swanson’s twist in writing of this period of national distress This book solidly succeeds in the genre of works that promise to be of compelling reading to the non-history-minded reader while being based on solid historical research.

Sep 10, Richard rated it really liked it. I find nothing about Booth’s actions or course noble. A history book that truly reads like a novel.

But then the war ended. A fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal.

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At times it was confusing trying to follow the flights of five different assassins. And for that I say, well done sdanson, well done. It gives insight into the Lincoln conspiracy members, and shows their various personalities.


This is the illuminated kind of nonfiction, aiming more for portraying life than delivering data into the reader’s head. Now, that’s not to diminish his other incredible accomplishments, not the least of which is the abolition of slavery. Many people wish he had never lived, while, Swanson notes, there are those in the South who still celebrate his life. The various members of the conspiracy had strange ideas of how they would be regarded in the matter.

In reading it, I kept feeling it was like listening to a really pure and beautiful soprano who hits those perfect notes that always give you a headache and make you wince.

And speaking of distorted moral values, this reviewer was disturbed by Swanson’s obvious and inappropriate infatuated sympathy with the murderer John Wilkes Booth. As it turned out J. Furthermore, there is no conceivable reason for glossing over this important detail except to make the story somehow more dramatic.

Feb 08, Terry Lucas rated it it was amazing. In an hour by hour recreation that is based on archival materials and zwanson transcripts, Manhunt is told from several perspectives including those hunting for Booth, John Wilkes Booth, Secretary of War Stanton, and others.

Booth’s flight was likely desperate and by using this source material the flight becomes romanticized.

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