We haven’t done a book review in awhile so we thought we take on American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies by Michael W. Kauffman.
(Editor’s Note: As always, we receive nothing for our reviews.)
With the controversy over the Confederate Battle flag (often misnamed the “Confederate flag”) going on, the old divisions and causes of the Civil War have been dragged up and thrown about again. The causes are not as simple as most people would have you believe. Any discussion of the Civil War has to include President Abraham Lincoln and how he dealt with the secession of the Southern states, the suppression on liberties in order to secure the freedom of people, the expansion of the Federal government at the expense of states rights, etc.
While the Lincoln assassination as an event was a defining moment in the history of the United States, not many people have examined the life and actions of Lincoln’s killer: John Wilkes Booth.
The common portrayal of Booth is that he was a crazed killer. Kauffman presents a different viewpoint.
As the basis of this viewpoint, Kauffman compiled the movements, actions, writings and correspondences of Booth into a computer program that analyzed those factors. What emerged was a picture of Booth as incredibly smart and manipulative who maneuvered people around him to almost be forced to take part in the plat to assassinate not only Lincoln, but other members of the Federal government.
Kauffman postulates that Booth saw himself as Brutus to Lincoln’s Caesar. In his mind, his decision to kill Lincoln was not an act of a crazed man, but rather the act of a noble gentleman determined to rid the world of a tyrant.