JOHN WILKES BOOTH, ARTIST?

In 1947, a young writer named Barnaby Conrad became secretary to the irascible Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sinclair Lewis. Lewis challenged Conrad to collaborate with him on a novel speculating that Lincoln’s assassin, the celebrated actor John Wilkes Booth, had escaped a burning building, surrounded by Union soldiers, substituting the body of a Confederate deserter whom Booth shot in the building at point blank range.

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