Manhunt by James L. Swanson
The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer

82%

11 Critic Reviews

...his John Wilkes Booth is just about perfect, catching the desperation and increasing lunacy of an actor getting ready for his role in history. And the other major characters—plotters, hunters, politicians, distraught family members—all bring a familiar story to exciting new life.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness.

James L. Swanson's Manhunt is a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

 

About James L. Swanson

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James Swanson is the Edgar Award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Swanson has degrees in history from the University of Chicago, where he was a student of John Hope Franklin, and in law from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C., including at the United States Department of Justice. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Society. Born on Lincoln's birthday, he has studied and collected books, documents, photographs, art, and artifacts from Abraham Lincoln's life—and death—since he was ten years old.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 469 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Crime, War, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Religion & Spirituality, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 31 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Manhunt
All: 11 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on May 20 2010

A meticulous account of crime and capture makes a distinguished and worthy addition to the legend Americans can’t seem to read enough about.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Aug 06 2016

...his John Wilkes Booth is just about perfect, catching the desperation and increasing lunacy of an actor getting ready for his role in history. And the other major characters—plotters, hunters, politicians, distraught family members—all bring a familiar story to exciting new life.

Read Full Review of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Aug 06 2016

With a deft, probing style and no small amount of swagger, Swanson, a member of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, has crafted pure narrative pleasure, sure to satisfy the casual reader and Civil War aficionado alike.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 09 2006

...Mr. Swanson vigorously crosscuts through the day, from the escalating intrigue around Ford's Theater over to the mayhem at the home of Secretary of State William Seward...Thus galvanized and always moving, the author creates a multifaceted chronicle.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad on Jun 14 2011

In all, MANHUNT is as good a true crime drama as one will discover, a book that will educate and entertain.

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USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Willing on Feb 08 2006

So Swanson lets Booth's flawed, flamboyant character push the tale along. The result is a diabolically fascinating Booth, neither a cat's-paw in a Confederate government plot, as Lincoln's contemporaries believed, nor the ego-driven loner he often seems when viewed in the light cast by 20th-century assassins such as Lee Harvey Oswald.

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Deseret News

Good
Reviewed by Craig Holyoak on Apr 23 2006

The Civil War is still being waged, so there is cavalry aplenty to scour the rebel hideouts, yet the injured and ill-prepared Booth makes an adventure of his near-hopeless run for Virginia — and Swanson reels us in furiously.

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Buffalo Rising

Good
Reviewed by Patricia Covley on Jun 24 2012

Manhunt is a terrific read for anyone who has a passion for history or who loves an exciting story. I found it a difficult book to put down.

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News Review.

Good
Reviewed by Jaime O'Neill on Jun 14 2007

Details like that help bring an oft-told tale back to vivid life, and turn waxy figures from the past into flesh-and-blood human beings.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Good
Reviewed by Diana Sandberg on Mar 01 2007

Despite knowing the ending – a hazard inevitable to any true-crime story – I found this book to be suspenseful and engaging. If only history in school had been anything like this exciting.

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https://bookpage.com

Good
Reviewed by Martin Brady on Feb 01 2006

With its colorful historical backdrop and tragic underpinnings, the book gathers steam as it goes...

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Reader Rating for Manhunt
86%

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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