Lincoln's Final Hours
Conspiracy, Terror, and the Assassination of America's Greatest President
Narrated by Todd Curless
Approximately 6 hours
Book published by University Press of Kentucky
When John Wilkes Booth fired his derringer point-blank into President Abraham Lincolnís head, he set in motion a series of dramatic consequences that would upend the lives of ordinary Washingtonians and Americans alike. In a split second, the story of a nation was changed. During the hours that followed, Americaís future would hinge on what happened in a cramped back bedroom at Petersenís Boardinghouse, directly across the street from Fordís Theatre. There, a twenty-three-year-old surgeonófresh out of medical schoolóstruggled to keep the president alive while Mary Todd Lincoln moaned at her husbandís bedside.
In Lincolnís Final Hours, author Kathryn Canavan takes a magnifying glass to the last moments of the presidentís life and to the impact his assassination had on a country still reeling from a bloody civil war. With vivid, thoroughly researched prose and a reporterís eye for detail, this fast-paced account not only furnishes a glimpse into John Wilkes Boothís personal and political motivations but also illuminates the stories of ordinary people whose lives were changed forever by the assassination.
While countless works on the Lincoln assassination exist, Lincolnís Final Hours moves beyond the well-known traditional accounts, offering readers a front-row seat to the drama and horror of Lincolnís death by putting them in the shoes of the audience in Fordís Theatre that dreadful evening. Through her careful narration of the twists of fate that placed the president in harmís way, of the plotting conversations Booth had with his accomplices, and of the immediate aftermath of the assassination, Canavan illustrates how the experiences of a single night changed the course of history.
Kathryn Canavan is a former independent researcher and freelance writer for USA Today and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“While Lincolnís assassination has been covered in numerous books and articles, Canavan offers a fresh look at the subject. Her use of sources goes well beyond that which most scholars have used, and she writes with a flair not often found in historical works. ”
—Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, a UPA audiobook
“Canavan has done an impressive job of placing the reader in the city of Washington as it was just before, up to, and after the death of President Lincoln. Any student of the Lincoln assassination will find himself actually walking in the footsteps of the people who were there: those living in the city, those in the audience at Fordís Theatre, and those gazing at the body of the dying president. A valuable addition to the body of published work about Lincoln and his death.”
—Joan Chaconas, historian at the Surratt House Museum
“Just when you thought there wasnít anything new to say about Abe Lincolnís assassination, along comes Ms. Canavan to reveal elements of the saga that will startle and enthrall even the most hard-core of Lincoln aficionados, including what must rank as the single most petty act by any one individual in the history of Americaóbut Iíll save that for the book.”
—Erik Larson, bestselling author of Devil in the White City, In the Garden of the Beasts, and Dead Wake
“While there have been thousands of books written about Lincolnís assassination, Lincolnís Final Hours is a welcome addition to a crowded field. Faced paced, dramatic and exciting, the reader will be hard pressed to put it down. The author, with her exquisite writing, has insured this. ”
—Frank J. Williams, Founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum and President of the Ulysses S. Grant Association
“A long time newspaper editor, reporter and reseracher, Canavan used her skills to thoroughly vet the people and the events she describes in her book. A superior bit of scholarship. Well worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of Lincolnia.”
—Florida Times Union
“Contains details that even the Lincoln scholars would enjoy and learn from. ”
“A longtime newspaper writer, editor and researcher, Canavan used her skills to thoroughly vet the people and the events she describes in her book. A superior bit of scholarship. Well worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of Lincolniana.”
“While countless works on the Lincoln assassination exist, Lincolnís Final Hours moves beyond the well-known traditional accounts, offering readers a front row seat to the drama and horror of Lincolnís death by putting them in the shoes of the audience in Fordís Theatre that dreadful evening. Through her careful narration of the twists of fate that placed the president in harmís way, of the plotting conversations Booth had with his accomplices, and of the immediate aftermath of the assassination, Canavan illustrates how the experiences of a single night changed the course of American history.”
—Lone Star Book Review
“Nearly every page showcases her attention to detail and superb historical imagination that enable readers to experience almost vicariously these final scenes of Lincolnís life. She delves into contemporary letters and interviews as well as numerous postassassination reminiscences that other scholars have ignored. Anyone who enjoys gifted storytelling will find Lincolnís Final Hours rewarding reading.”
—Civil War News
“Canavan has performed excellent research in winnowing out myriad human interest details on all of the characters involved, from Booth himself, to photographer Julius Ulke taking an eloquent image of the blood-soaked death bed just minutes after Lincolnís body was removed. The result is a fastpaced, moving, yet authoritative account of the people caught up in the fallout of Boothís mad act. It changed the lives of everyone involved, from those who collected bits of bandage soaked with Lincolnís blood to sell as souvenirs, to Secretary of State William Seward who lived the rest of his life with the terrifying memory of one of Boothís accomplices stabbing repeatedly at his neck.”
—History Book Club
“Wonders await the reader of this terrific book.”
—Civil War Book Review
All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks