Manhunt: the 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer

I’m reading this book by James L Swanson (HarperCollins, 2006) that focuses entirely on the search for John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Abraham Lincoln. A new edition, maybe just a reissue, came out in 2012 under the title Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.

A couple of impressions: first, I had not realized how deeply the search for the conspirators cut into Americans’ civil liberties. The authorities arrested dozens of people, broke into houses, and did all kinds of things that would not pass muster today. Also, if Booth had not broken his leg I think he would have gotten away.

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