Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

The book was not difficult to get through; it was fairly light reading. The mysterious, almost fictitious tone of the story makes it easier to understand and read. The book flows extremly well, and the context is set well with the beginning of the war and the tensions between the north and the south. O’Reilly explains why Booth and others hated Lincoln so much and leads into their plan perfectly. O’Reilly’s credibity is that he is one of the most well-known political commentators in the counytry, and is known for his highy-rated news show, The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly is also the author of several other best selling history books, and writes a newspaper column.
Sentences throughout the book are short and the vocabulary is simple. The events of the assasintion are chronological and organized, with backgound information to fill in any gaps.. O’Reilly does often jump back and forth in time to tell small back stories that will merge with events in the future. There are some parts of the story that are ruined when thes backstories tell too much information. A lot of what is decsribed does not seem completely accuarte, as no historians are sure of every little move that occured over the two weeks before and inckding LIncln’s death, but O’Reilly tells everything as if it is exactly wat happened. It may mean that soime parts of the book are inaccurtae, as O’Reilly used his own mind to create a more fantisful story of what certain people’s actions and thoughts were.
The book seems to shift over a few sightly different voices.. The first voice is of a history teacher who is knowedgable of the very limited facts aboutb the assasinationo. The way O’Reilly writes the book with random facts that he found intetreing sporadically thrown in interrupts the book at times, and do not seem neccesary to what is going on. It is also evident that O’Reilly adds a lot to the book from his own imagination, causing the book to lack some accuracy and credibility. Lincoln’s assaination has had a plethora of conspiracy theories surroudnng it, but O’Reilly makes no mention of what could be possible. Instead, he writes as ifd all the other theories are wrong and his telling is accurate. But O’Reilly also explains many of the battles and commanders processes in dpeth, which allows a greater understading of the roots o the conlict and the actions being taken on both sides. He also does an excellent job keeping the story entertaining.
In the afterword, O’Reilly includes the recreation of Harper’s Weekly, a newspaper of the time, and the article from April 29, 1865 when the week’s edition was entirely devoted to the assasination and death of Lincoln. The edition went to printers just hours after word reached the capitiol that John Wilkes Booth had been located and killed. The recreation includes everything as it was oroginally printed, including a photograph of John Wilkes Booth on the front page, which does add to the credibilty and context of the book. Also helpful is the afterword, where O’Reilly continues to write a small section on each main person to explain what happened to them after the killing of Booth. It includes what happened to Booth’s body and other evidence, as well as people such as Booth’s girlfriend, Lincoln’s wife, his bodyguard John Parker, and Laura Keene, who held Lincoln’s head in her lap at Ford’s Theater after he was shot. The end of the book leaves of like a cliffhanger, so the afterword is worth reading to give extra insight on how Lincoln’s death affected not only those close to him but people who assisted in his murder.
Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly is captivating book that will build a greater knowledge on the Civil War era and Lincoln’s murder. The smallest but importnat details are woven in and add the little tidbits of information, little things that could have spared the president’s life, like his only bodygaurd, Charles Forbes, who left his post at the theater to grab a drink in a nearby tavern. Things like this make the historical aspect of the book almost disapear, as it seems so fictitious. The use of cliffhanger endings on every chapter and dialogue also gear the book towards fiction. But the events that occured during the yea rof 1865 were already so intense; with the war coming to a close and the assassination of a leader who was both adored and hated. This dramatic moment from the past makes the book interesting and entertaining. The emotion shown on every page is beyond belief. You get so wrapped up in what is happening that you will walk away from this book with a completely different perspective on what happened on that horrible day, and it will give you a better understanding of what our country was dealing with because of the Civil War.

Post Author: admin