Since completing the Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard best-selling book “Killing Lincoln”, I have given considerable thought toward this review of the extremely sad story surrounding the assassination of one of the most famous presidents in the history of the United States of America. I must note that I believe a person who is 80 years old will be affected differently when reading this book than an individual of a much younger age. At my advanced age the subject of death is one I prefer to avoid and not dwell upon, although I recognize that it is inevitable.
That being said, I strongly recommend that all ages read “Killing Lincoln”, because it certainly brings forward many long forgotten facts surrounding this devastating event. While some have challenged certain details disclosed in the book, I suspect some of that is due to the strong sentiments individuals hold regarding Bill O’Reilly.
Permit me to suggest that there is great value in understanding all the subsequent actions that occurred as a result of Lincoln’s assassination, such as the creation of the Secret Service, the restriction of public entrance within the White House, and the importance of the vetting process for the Vice-Presidential candidate in subsequent elections.
The authors have written a book that is very easy to read, and with short chapters it is one that you can read for a short period and then pick-up again quite easily. The book is a worthy read or it would not have been able to sustain its long tenure on the better best-seller lists across the country.
Lastly, I wonder how different our country would be today had we had the leadership and direction of Abraham Lincoln as our president for the remainder of at least his second term (remember that the presidential two term limit did not occur until the late 1940s). Certainly the re-unification of the North and South after the Civil War would have been a priority under Lincoln’s leadership, but did not occur under his inept successor, Andrew Johnson.
Tragically, we will never know all the answers, and we must trust historians for direction and understanding as O’Reilly and Dugard have done so effectively in this book.