It doesn’t come out until September

…but you can already pre-order your very own copy of Bill O’ Reilly’s Lincoln assassination book, which will doubtless sell nine hundred bazillion copies.

Despite early indications that this was going to be another harebrained conspiracy account, along the lines of the 1977 book which falsely implicated Stanton in Booth’s plot, I was hoping against hope that O’Reilly and his co-author wouldn’t strike out into the tall grass of pseudohistorical nonsense.

I mean, it’s bad enough when websites and sensationalized documentaries foist that sort of stuff off on the public.  Put it in the mouth of a well-known media personality like O’Reilly, and then picture the madness that would ensue.  For decades, anyone giving a Lincoln lecture or site tour would end up fielding questions about whether members of Lincoln’s administration plotted to have him whacked. History blog comment sections would overflow with the rantings of crackpots, accusing all doubters of perpetuating a 150-year-old cover-up.

It would be one of the biggest boons to spurious history since Glenn Beck started dabbling in Native American studies.  We’d never hear the end of it.  Indeed, we’d be up to our armpits in it.

Now take a look at the promotional copy:

In the spring of 1865, the Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of incredibly bloody battles. President Abraham Lincoln’s generous terms for Robert E. Lee’s surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln’s dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. One man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.

So here we go again.  Gird up thy loins, ye public historians who specialize in Lincoln.  Your job just got a little bit harder.



Filed under Abraham Lincoln

5 responses to “It doesn’t come out until September

  1. That was great; I had a good chuckle.

  2. Nice Blog! I’m checking out other blogs trying to find out how to get recognized.
    I’m making daily entries, coping a CW Journal by a soldier from Co. E, 59th Reg. Indiana Vol Infantry!
    Hope you’ll check it out!

  3. Pingback: We’ll do it live! I’LL WRITE IT AND WE’LL DO IT LIVE! | Past in the Present

  4. Kevin O'Leary

    One question that is bothering me: Why when told about the attacks on Lincoln and Seward did Stanton GO to Seward’s first? ( Maybe he was closer? Stanton’s home was at 365 C street and I’m not sure about Sewards?) Can anyone help me out here? Also, where was the War Department building at that time? With the conflations of compass directions on modern street mapping I’m having a bit of rough go. Thanks

    • Michael Lynch

      I think Stanton learned of the attack on Seward before he got word that Lincoln had been shot. A messenger arrived at Stanton’s residence with news that Seward had been killed, but I don’t think Stanton was informed of the attack on Lincoln until he arrived at Seward’s house and met Gideon Welles there. Welles had been told that Lincoln had been shot at Ford’s and Seward murdered. He apparently assumed that the message meant Seward had been at the theater also, but knowing that Seward was at home recuperating from a carriage accident, he rushed to the house to figure out what was going on. Both Stanton and Welles arrived at Seward’s at the same time, and I believe that was when Stanton learned that Lincoln had been attacked. Once Stanton and Welles saw that Seward was alive, they took a carriage to Ford’s, against the advice of several people who warned them that it was too dangerous to do so.

      The War Department was just northwest of the White House, where the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is now.

      Hope that helps!

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