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Richmond Book Club Message Board › MANHUNT


user 2830593
Group Organizer
Midlothian, VA
Post #: 40
I thought this was going to be a hard one to get through but so far (about half way) it has been a very enjoyable read. Having been educated in England I knew Lincoln was a president and he was assassinated but that was it so it is good to learn some American history.

What does everyone else think so far, or have you finished it already?

Oh and check out our About page I've changed it.
A former member
Post #: 16
Lincoln was a president?

Just kidding.

To be honest I think I have read maybe 20 pages so far, and I have not picked it up again. Maybe I should. I like the topic itself, having taken a few civil war classes in college, I appreciate this time in American history. Ok now I feel guilty for not reading more of the book...
user 2826214
Richmond, VA
Post #: 9
The About pagae looks great, Chelsea!

Like Lorraine, I'm not really that far into the book, so I've got a lot of reading to do in the upcoming weeks! I do like the book, though, and have already learned stuff I didn't know. It's amazing to think of the lack of security for our country's top official--especially compared to today! John Wilkes Booth is quite creepy.shock
A former member
Post #: 18
Finished it sooner than expected, finding it easy and educational, although I think Swanson took some liberties with the characters' thoughts. But that's OK in my book (no pun intended) added attraction of interest.

Having been educated in America I also knew about the assassination. I compared the details with what I'd learned in high school which was basically that Lincoln was the great empancipator and then everyone was finally happy because the slaves had been freed and the South breathed a sigh of relief that finally they could rejoin the Union and the country lived happily ever after. But, then again, that was high school teaching in 1964, a hundred years later.

To the victors the spoils of rewriting history belong. Anyone happen to notice that history sadly repeats itself in such short spans of a few generations?

I agree, Maria, that John was creepy, perhaps psycho would be a better word.

How inept the communications that allowed Booth to cross the bridge to moderate, though temporary, freedom... a sargeant's lazy decision with full knowledge of the Mare's apparent hard riding...

As usual mediocrity and ambivilance was just as much the norm back then as it continues to be today.

Comments are always welcome,

A former member
Post #: 4
I found the part about Dr. Mudd interesting. Mudd seems to have been more involved than some have published. Mudd's descendants, (e.g. former news anchor Roger Mudd who went to the University of Richmond) maintained the Mudd family should not be tainted by what Dr. Mudd did, that he was innocent, etc. I also found the powers assumed by Sec. of War Staunton (and resulting suspension of civil rights and trial by military tribunals) to be scary. VP Johnson seemed inept. Of course, Booth was nuts. I assume the Secret Service (which protects our President) was organized after, and perhaps as a result of, the Lincoln assination. I thought this book would be interesting, in part, because it is the latest book (2006) on this subject. Also, our country is currently faced with the use of military tribunals for combatants (like those housed at Guantanamo.)
A former member
Post #: 19
Since we're so close to this history I think a field trip is in order. Who's up for taking a few days off and travelling up to DC and visiting Ford's Theater and then following the escape trail through southern Maryland, crossing the Potomac and locating the burned down barn?
A former member
Post #: 3
Great book so far! I'd be up for a field trip!
user 2838545
Midlothian, VA
Post #: 7
What a great book choice, Ed! Didn't think it would be my cup of tea but thoroughly enjoying it. Been a bit busy lately so picked Manhunt up just recently and about at the half way point. By the way Ed, haven't seen you at ACAC lately!?!
user 2830593
Group Organizer
Midlothian, VA
Post #: 38
Last night's book discussion was very good. If I ever take a trip to DC I will definitely visit Fords theater.
Several comments were made about the way the author portrayed Booth. He seemed to romanticize him and demonise him almost as if the author did not know how he felt about the assassin.
We had a good discussion about the gentleman's/southern code of conduct that people followed in those times and how Booth and Herold would never have got as far as they did without it. Also how different communications were in those days.
I think we were all shocked at the hanging of the four people the day after their verdict and that Staunton had so much power. Several people did not believe Mary Surratt should have been hanged at all.

We did have several no shows last night which was a little disappointing. I know things come up but if you know you are not going to make it please change your RSVP to No even if it is at 6pm on the day of the meetup. I check just before I leave. It is a bit embarrassing reserving tables that remain empty all night.

However we still had a great turnout and met several new members. I think a good time was had by all!

Does anyone who did not make it last night have any comments about the book?
A former member
Post #: 13
I had to change my RSVP the day before that meeting, I hope that it went through. Sorry about missing this one, but that week was crazy busy, with Thanksgiving and all. Hope everyone ahd a good time!
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