When John Wilkes Booth fired his Derringer point-blank into President Abraham Lincoln's head, he set in motion a series of dramatic consequences that would upend the lives of ordinary Washingtonians and Americans alike. In a split second, the story of a nation was changed. During the hours that followed, America's future would hinge on what happened in a cramped back bedroom at Petersen's Boardinghouse, directly across the street from Ford's Theatre. There, a 23-year-old surgeon - fresh out of medical school - struggled to keep the president alive while Mary Todd Lincoln moaned at her husband's bedside.
In Lincoln's Final Hours, author Kathryn Canavan takes a magnifying glass to the last moments of the president's life and to the impact his assassination had on a country still reeling from a bloody civil war. With vivid, thoroughly researched prose and a reporter's eye for detail, this fast-paced account not only furnishes a glimpse into John Wilkes Booth's personal and political motivations, but also illuminates the stories of ordinary people whose lives were changed forever by the assassination.
The book is published by University Press of Kentucky.
"A superior bit of scholarship. Well worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of Lincolniana." (Georgia Times-Union)
"A valuable addition to the body of published work about Lincoln and his death." (Joan Chaconas, historian at the Surratt House Museum)
"Faced paced, dramatic and exciting, the reader will be hard pressed to put it down. The author, with her exquisite writing, has insured this." (Frank J. Williams, President of the Ulysses S. Grant Association)
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