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 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 05:33 pm
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hillbilly
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I was wondering if anyone here had read the book and what you thought about it.

- Hillbilly



 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 07:29 pm
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Doc C
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Possibly the best book out there on Booth and the events leading up to and after Lincolns assassination. In my opinion, much better than Manhunt.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 10:05 pm
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booklover
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Hillbilly,

I have to echo what Doc C. said. Mike Kauffman is a friend of mine but I would say this even if I didn't know him. The study of Lincoln's assassination has been a passion for Mike for decades. He even went so far as to burn down a tobacco barn like the one Booth and Herold were trapped in just to see how long it would take for the flames to reach the point that they did before Booth was shot. His book and "Blood on the Moon" by Ed Steers are, in my opinion, the gold standard when it comes to studies of Lincoln's murder.

Doc, I have to say this. Saying Kauffman is better than Swanson's fetid piece of tripe is like saying getting kissed by a pretty girl is better than a foot in the groin!;):D


Best
Rob



 Posted: Wed Aug 22nd, 2007 10:19 pm
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Doc C
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Hillbilly

I agree totally with your last statement but didn't want to sound crase and vulgar. Go figure trash like that gets the movie deal.


Doc C



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 11:37 am
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susansweet
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I agree. I have read all three books and would love to get my money back on Manhunt.  What a waste of paper.  American Brutus is one of the best books I have read in ages.  The footnotes alone are worth the read.  I really have problems when well documented books that are also well written don't get the attention a book written that reads like a movie script with no documentation or very little  gets. 

It took me over a year to finish Manhunt as I kept putting it down .  Finally finished it just so I could get rid of it .  American Brutus on the other hand I could not put down.  Then when a friend borrowed it and lost it I bought a second copy.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 02:13 pm
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David White
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When I met Kaufmann this year he seemed pretty bitter about the reception/movie deal for Manhunt versus his book.  I almost choose Kaufmann's book last week ago as my current read off my stack of books but was intimidated by the size with football season coming up.  Guess I should not do that when I finsih my current read.



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 02:28 pm
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booklover
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David,

Although Mike's book is long, don't let that bother you. It reads very well despite being exhaustive.

What really bothers me about Manhunt is that Swanson has made all this money for what is nothing but a piece of crap. People who are not as up to speed on the story read this because it got a ton of publicity and think its the true story. Apparently the Harrison Ford movie is now dead because Walden Media sold the rights to a company that makes shows for HBO, so now whatever form it appears in will be on cable.

Best
Rob



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 02:29 pm
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booklover
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Double posted, sorry.

Last edited on Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 02:30 pm by booklover



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 02:35 pm
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David White
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Ah, as an HBO deal they will have to add a string of expletives highlighting the F word in all the made up dialogue Swanson created.



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 03:18 pm
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booklover
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Well David, I can tell you that Everton Conger (who was in charge of the troops that captured Booth and whose biography I am attempting to write) was pretty handy with the swear words. When was a cavalry officer, he told his troops they were "a d----ed sight worse than stragglers."

Best
Rob



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 03:36 pm
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David White
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Booklover:

You need to do some more research, HBO's bona fide recording of him says he really said they were, "a d----ed sight worse than F---ing stragglers and C-------ers *&*!#."

 

;)



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 03:40 pm
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susansweet
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David don't be put off by the size of the book or the amount of footnotes. It was one of the best reads I have done in ages.  So exciting , It would have made a great movie on JWB and Lincoln.  Much more so than that piece of you know what that is getting the hype. 

A friend first read the book and couldn't wait to tell me about it.  She could not put AB down.  Then our book group decided to read both Blood on the Moon and AB.  Was a lively discussion afterwards.   Reading AB made all the people come alive.  Real people not just  historical figures.    Move that book to the top of the pile. 

My pile is starting to tip over.  Oh dear. Must read faster.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Aug 23rd, 2007 03:50 pm
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booklover
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David,

LOL! I'll have to recheck my notes.:D

Best
Rob



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 01:01 am
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CleburneFan
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I've read "Manhunt" and have not read the other books mentioned above.  Dumb me. I really enjoyed "Manhunt" and couldn't put it down. In fact, I passed it around to other family members who really enjoyed it too.

I wonder why it is a "fetid peice of tripe" and other negative descriptions here. What is so fetid about it? I found it fast paced and the characters were made to seem real, at least to my numb brain--as my brain must be numb to get so much pleasure from a book others hold in such obvious contempt.:?



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 03:23 am
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Ronayne64
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Hello, I'm new to the forum, but thought I'd give my opinion.  I've read all 3 of the Lincoln/Booth mentioned plus Darkest Dawn.  I think Blood on the Moon and American Brutus are definitely the most accurate, but I have to disagree with everybody's poor reviews of Manhunt.  I loved it.  Yeah, it's fictionalized, but it is still a great read.  I read mainly nonfiction, I'm always trying to get my mom and girlfriend to read my books.  They get way too bogged down with troop movements and battle formations.  I suggested Manhunt to them.  They loved it.  I was happy they were finally taking an interest!



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 06:53 am
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susansweet
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You mentioned exactly why it is junk.  It is sold as NONFICTION but it is a piece of fiction.  There are no footnotes, no reference , nothing.  It continues thoughout the book to tell readers what Booth was thinking .  Gee I didn't know anyone had access to Booth's mind . 

I just find it sad that a very readable book like American Brutus that is totally researched with primary sources and footnotes up the kazoo that you don't have to read unless you want to is being over looked by a work of fiction.  It was a fast read, it read like a movie script which I am sure it was meant to be . 

 



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 12:53 pm
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PvtClewell
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I am both amused and confused by the current discussion here. I've read 'Blood on the Moon' and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have not read 'Manhunt' or 'American Brutus.' Yet.

So I went on the Barnes & Noble site to at least get a feel for what I might be missing.

I noticed that the back cover of 'Manhunt' has positive recommendations by Doris Kearns Goodwin, James McPherson, John Hope Franklin and Jay Winik, all highly regarded historians. Have they been hoodwinked, or worse yet, paid off? (I shudder to think).

New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin had praise for both 'Manhunt' and 'American Brutus.'

Some of the reader reviews for 'Manhunt' liked 'American Brutus' as well, thought they worked well in conjunction with each other.

I guess I'm just amazed at the wide range of views on 'Manhunt.' To each, his own, I suppose. Maybe a trip to the library is in store for me, or better yet, maybe I can borrow the book from a friend. Maybe lose it for him, too, LOL.

Last edited on Mon Aug 27th, 2007 12:08 am by PvtClewell



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 01:06 pm
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Ronayne64
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I think they work well together.  In my opinion American Brutus was more about the leading up to the assassination and Manhunt was what happened afterward.  There are ALOT of great civil war books out there that are not being made into movies, so I wouldn't get too upset at 1 being chosen over another.  I think Gods and Generals hurt that area of a film making so why take a risk on American Brutus when Manhunt was already a huge success.

Also, it isn't as if Swanson (author of Manhunt) is just some hack writer who decided to do a book on Booth.  He also co-authored one of the best photographic histories on the assassination I have ever seen and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abe Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

"James Swanson brings vividly to life one of the greatest stories in American history; the thrilling manhunt for John Wilkes Booth.  His beautifully crafted narrative commands the reader's interest from start to finish and, most important, he gets it right, down to the smallest detail." ---Edward Steers Jr.  author of Blood on the Moon.

Last edited on Sun Aug 26th, 2007 02:34 pm by Ronayne64



 Posted: Sun Aug 26th, 2007 06:27 pm
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booklover
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Cleburne Fan and Ronayne64,

I have several reasons why I think "Manhunt" is a fetid piece of tripe. When the book first came out, a co-worker couldn't understand why I was so adamantly opposed to the book, so I wrote the attached review to explain it. Please take time to read it and you will understand my position.

As to Ed Steer's comments, I also consider Ed to be a friend, but that doesn't mean I completely agree with everything he says (same holds true with Mike). Ed is certainly entitled to his opinion of the book, as am I. As for the other comments, do you honestly think each of the authors read the book? Plus, even though they rate miles above me in terms of academic knowledge and ability to produce scholarship, I wouldn't place James McPherson or John Hope Franklin high on the list of those with intimate detailed knowledge of Lincoln's assassination, and I wouldn't place Patricia Cornwell anywhere on that list.

Best
Rob

Attachment: Review of Manhunt.txt (Downloaded 12 times)

Last edited on Sun Aug 26th, 2007 09:01 pm by booklover



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