"They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance

by Anthony S. Pitch


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The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is a central drama of the American experience. Its impact is felt to this day, and the basic story is known to all. Anthony Pitch's thrilling account of the Lincoln conspiracy and its aftermath transcends the mere facts of that awful night during which dashing actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in the head and would-be assassin Lewis Payne butchered Secretary of State William Seward in the bed of his own home. "They Have Killed Papa Dead!" transports the reader to one of the most breathtaking moments in history, and reveals much about the stories, passions, and times of those who shaped this great tragedy.
Virtually every word of Anthony Pitch's account is based on primary source material: quotes from previously unpublished documents, diaries, letters, and journals. With an unwavering fidelity to historical accuracy, Pitch provides confirmation of threats against the president-elect's life as he traveled to Washington by train for his first inauguration, and a vivid personal account of John Wilkes Booth being physically restrained from approaching Lincoln at his second inauguration.
Perhaps most chillingly, details come to light about conditions in the special prison where the civilian conspirators accused of participating in the Lincoln assassination endured tortuous conditions in extreme isolation and deprivation, hooded and shackled, before and even during their military trial. Pitch masterfully synthesizes the findings of his prodigious research into a tight, gripping narrative that adds important insights to our national story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510733916
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 09/25/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 521,563
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Anthony S. Pitch is the author of several books including The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, a selection of the History Book Club and winner of the Arline Custer Memorial Award and Maryland Historical Society's annual book award. He has been featured on outlets ranging from NPR to The History Channel to C-SPAN to Fox News and is a highly sought-after public speaker. A former journalist in England, Africa, and Israel, Pitch has been a broadcast editor for the Associated Press in Philadelphia and a senior writer in the books division of US News & World Report. He lives near Washington, DC.

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"They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theatre, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
neanderthal78 More than 1 year ago
It's hard for beginners to pinpoint a book (or books) to begin their study. I can't think of anyone in American History that has more books written about them (save Washington and that is a maybe). There are books on every aspect of Lincoln's life, from his years on the prairie to his rise and assassination. Where does one begin? Well I can say that I think anyone interested in the assassination of Lincoln need look no further. I've read many books on the Lincoln assassination and found this book to be my favorite. Pitch had to know that he was entering a market already over saturated with books on Booth, Lincoln, the escape and aftermath so he really had to make this book stand out. And stand out it does. This book is the most comprehensive look at the assassination and the people involved that I've ever found. It's the little details that really separate this book from dry history and make it come to life. Full of newly unearthed material that Pitch spent 9 years mining, it will stand as the benchmark for future works on the subject. There are three really good books on the subject of the assassination. 1st is Blood On the Moon, 2nd is American Brutus, and this book. All three will give you all you need to know about what happened that fateful day in 1865. If you want one to start with, start with this one. I just ordered Pitch's book on the burning of Washington by the British from my local Barns & Nobel and I can't wait to see what he's come up with about that day. Not only does he do Lincoln justice, he gives a great history of DC during the Civil War and beyond.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you think you know all there is to know about the Linciln assassination, read.this book anyway--it will prove you wrong. The author's 9 years of research are evident in the painstaking account of events before, during and after the crime. Contemporary accounts give the sense of what it was like to be in Washington D.C. in 1865. This is an excellent book!
Lost_in_the_Pages More than 1 year ago
Even though Lincoln's assassination has been widely discussed this is one title you want to add to your collection. Pitch's account is well-researched in detailing Lincoln's murder.
JoeColl More than 1 year ago
This book gives you great insight into the tragic assassination of President Lincoln and it's aftermath. The plots, assassination, the escape and chase and finally the trial and executions. It was a book I couldn't put down.
juglicerr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read several books on the Lincoln assassination, but I still found this fresh and full of insights and information that make it well worth reading. He seems to have concentrated on finding fresh private documentation to supplement the usual official documents. Pitch, for example, quotes the wistful letters of Sallie Hartranft, whose husband John had been mostly at war beginning in April 1861, and whose return home was delayed by his duties as a provost marshal during the trial of the conspirators. He brings to life people who are usually just background figures. Compared to books like Edward Steer's Blood on the Moon and the Kunhardt's Twenty Days, it focuses less on the the funeral and more on the trial of the conspirators. This is a nuanced, well-written, and deeply involving account of the assassination and the ensuing trial, well-worth reading even for those who are already familiar with the events.
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This filled in alot of the stories and things that other books over looked. Very good source material.