The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy

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Indiana University Press, 2005 - History - 362 pages
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"While waves of laughter echoed through the theater, James Ferguson kept his eyes focused on Abraham Lincoln. Although the president joined the crowd with a 'hearty laugh,' his interest seemingly lay more with someone below. With his right elbow resting on the arm of his chair and his chin lying carelessly on his hand, Lincoln parted one of the flags nearby that he might see better.

"As the laughter subsided, Harry Hawk stood on the stage alone with his back to the presidential box. Before he could utter another word, a sharp crack sounded. As the noise echoed throughout the otherwise silent theater, many thought that it was part of the play. But just as quickly, most knew it was not." --from Chapter Twelve

"Among the hundreds of books published about the assassination of our 16th president, this is an exceptional volume.... [It captures] a you-are-there feeling...." --Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum, and member of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

It was one of the most tragic events in American history: The famous president, beloved by many, reviled by some, murdered while viewing a play at Ford's Theater in Washington. The frantic search for the perpetrators. The nation in mourning. The solemn funeral train. The conspirators brought to justice. Coming just days after the surrender of the Confederate Army at Appomattox, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln has become etched in the national consciousness like few other events. The president who had steered the nation through its bloodiest crisis was cut down before the end, just as it appeared that the bloodshed was over. The story has been told many times, but rarely with the immediacy of The Darkest Dawn. Thomas Goodrich brings to his narrative the care of the historian and the flair of the fiction writer. The result is a gripping account, filled with detail and as fresh as today's news.

  

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Review: The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy

User Review  - Steven Rogers - Goodreads

A great read about the assassination of the 16th president, and how the capitol and nation were thrown into chaos. Anyone interested in American history should read this. Read full review

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Contents

The Omen
3
Three Electric Words
9
The White City
13
The Last Man
17
Star of Glory
23
The President and the Player
31
Sic Semper Tyrannis
39
Towards an Indefinite Shore
45
The Wrath of God and Man
173
The Curse of Cain
179
The Midweek Sabbath
187
Oh Abraham Lincoln
195
The Fox and the Hounds
201
Blade of Fate
209
The Bad Hand
217
The Hate of Hate
225

The Clown and the Sphinx
51
One Bold Man
57
A Night to Remember
83
Terror on Lafayette Park
91
The Last Bullet
95
Murder in the Streets
105
A Spirit So Horrible
113
The Darkest Dawn
117
Hemp and Hell
129
This Sobbing Day
141
Black Easter
151
A Double Disaster
157
In Dungeons Dreadful
167
The Heart of Israel
231
Dust To Dust
239
Old Scores
247
The Living Dead
259
The Most Dreadful Fate
267
Beads on a String
275
The Haunted Stage
289
Acknowledgments
299
Notes
301
Bibliography
343
Index
357
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Thomas Goodrich is author of Black Flag (IUP, 1995) and The Day Dixie Died: Southern Occupation, 1865–1866 (with Debra Goodrich). He lives in Topeka, Kansas.

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