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A wonderful book about the Lincoln assassination - meticulously researched, beautifully written, compellingly read by Milton Bagby. Its canvas is wide: the assassination itself is about the midpoint of the book (a bit like Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"); the rest of the book recounts, in a sometimes electrifying narrative, the efforts of investigators to piece the story together, arrest the conspirators, track down John Wilkes Booth, and put the conspirators on trial.
There was more than one miscarriage of justice in the aftermath. Some who were only tangentially involved, like Samuel Mudd or Mary Surratt, were given extremely harsh sentences (in Mrs Surratt's case, death by hanging). John Surratt, on the other hand - Mary's son, who was more intimately involved with the conspiracy but who managed to elude capture for two years - went free after a hung jury.
Pitch's focus throughout the book is on the human cost of the tragedy. He has a broad sympathy for all the participants: even Booth manages to elicit some sympathy in his last days and hours.
I've read and listened to several books on the topic, starting with Jim Bishop's "The Day Lincoln Was Shot" some 40 years ago. This is the most accurate, balanced, comprehensive, and readable of the lot. I would highly recommend it as the first place to go for an account of the Lincoln assassination. And I'll definitely be looking for other books from the same author and the same narrator.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Where does 'They Have Killed Papa Dead!' rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
What was one of the most memorable moments of 'They Have Killed Papa Dead!'?
No specific moment, but it provided a lot of new information about the conspirators' imprisonment, trial, execution, and burial.
Did Milton Bagby do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
Yes. He just told their stories. But his narrative technique was strange and sometimes confusing (see below).
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Any additional comments?
The narrator had a strange way of sometimes speaking in a rushed manner that made if difficult to determine where one paragraph ended and another began.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful