John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day by the late Art Loux is a truly remarkable gift to the historical community. As a history of the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, it is unmatched in its scope and detail. It represents Mr. Loux’s life’s work with his decades of in-depth research cataloging the movements of John Wilkes Booth. The book was released on August 20th, almost eight months since Mr. Loux’s passing.
There are always new books being written about the various aspects of Lincoln’s assassination. There are the big name authors like Kauffman, Steers, and Swanson who give wonderfully detailed accounts of the whole assassination story. There are biographers like Ownsbey, Larson, and Titone who explore the lives of specific conspirators and their families. And, as always, the true drama of the Lincoln assassination is the perfect muse for pieces of historical fiction like “Wild” Bill Richter’s new, well researched and footnoted, novel.
At the same time, however, there are many poorly researched and poorly written books out there that saturate the topic with misinformation and supposition costumed up as fact. Authors of these volumes usually delude themselves into truly believing their own views regardless of the mountains of evidence against them. Some even go as far as to spam every nook and cranny of the internet attempting to portray their views as fact.
This is why books like John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day are so important. In an age of historical sensationalism misconstrued as fact, Mr. Loux’s book provides a model for how to conduct and present one’s research. John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day is devoted solely to the education, not manipulation, of its readers. Each chapter provides an excellent narrative of the important events in that period of John Wilkes Booth’s life followed by a detailed record of his daily movements and activities. It is the perfect book for everyone with an interest in the Lincoln assassination. The casual reader will love to follow the 26 year journey of John Wilkes Booth to see what led him into Ford’s Theatre on April 14th, 1865. The researcher will love pouring over the daily record and the thousands of fascinating footnotes.
Every chapter, even every page, provides new insight into the man who would later kill the 16th President. For example, did you know that John Wilkes Booth once had to extinguish a fellow actress on stage when her dress caught on fire?
John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day is filled with fascinating stories like this that have never been published anywhere else. You can purchase your copy from online retailers like Amazon, or you might consider supporting the Surratt House Museum (the gateway to the assassination story) by purchasing your copy from them.
I sincerely believe that this book should be read by everyone interested in the Lincoln assassination. Due to this belief, I have purchased an extra copy of the book to give away here on the blog. If you would like to win one free copy of Art Loux’s masterpiece John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post describing what aspect of the Lincoln assassination interests you the most. In one week’s time, on September 21st, I will pick one of the commenters at random to receive a free copy of this indispensable book.
Though Art is no longer with us, he has left behind an inspiring legacy of scholarship and generosity. So get commenting below for your chance to win a free copy of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day courtesy of BoothieBarn.com.
Contest Rules: To win a copy of John Wilkes Booth: Day by Day you must write one (1) comment on this post explaining what aspect of the Lincoln assassination interests you the most. A valid email address must be attached to the comment in order to win. Multiple comments from the same person will be counted as one entry. Contest will end on September 21st, 2014 at 20:00 PST. The winner will be notified via email. If no response is received within three (3) days, a new winner will be chosen. In the event that the winner chooses to forfeit the prize, another winner will be selected. Winners agree to have their name and comment used in a future post.