• American Brutus

  • John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies
  • By: Michael Kauffman
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In American Brutus, popular historian Michael W. Kauffman delivers a history that reads more like a best-selling novel. This definitive masterwork dispels commonly held myths and reveals the truth about John Wilkes Booth.

Luring Southern sympathizers into a “noble” presidential kidnapping, Booth stunned his puzzled pawns by murdering Lincoln. From Booth’s early life and acting career to his escape and death, this meticulously researched book re-examines it all using a wealth of primary sources.

©2004 Michael W. Kauffman (P)2005 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

“Kauffman … offers a beautifully written, exhaustive and well-reasoned reassessment of … Booth and the murder of [Lincoln].” ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about American Brutus

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

informative

I've read dozens of books on Lincoln, the assasination, civil war, and it was interesting to get a detailed look at JWB and the man and his plan behind the assasination

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the narrator nearly ruins the book

greatly enjoyed learning more about the Lincoln assassination but the long pauses from the narrator (in no seemingly logical place) coupled with the sound of him rolling his tongue and clicking his teeth was enough to drive anyone crazy.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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narrator is slow and takes unusual pauses...

The narrator is slow. he takes unusual pauses and There is some background noises... I would suggest reading this book rather than having it read to you

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A Killer and his Excuses

I enjoyed this book and narration. It is thorough and insightful. One of interesting things is how different the law was then and how that trial got set rup and went down. Booth's self serving final letter sounds like many killers I've read and studied.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I struggled with the story

Recommended as the best story regarding Lincoln's assassination and the hunt for Booth. Not sure of the veracity of that but there are far too many inconsistencies in the narrative to prove the claim. Lots of details-mostly inconsequential in nature and that is truly distracting to enjoy or consider for a serious historical chronical. Cautiously recommend to others.

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Fascinating account of this character

If you this you would like a very well researched story of one of the most notorious killers in American history, look no further. The details are plentiful and the story well researched and entertaining IMHO. The story was compelling and at no point was I bored with the details as written into the story.

If I did have any complaints it's with the mispronunciation of a few iconic characters and places. This is really unsull as Nelson Runger is one of my personal favorite narrators. The only other complaint I had was with the production. Between chapters they had an awkwardly on pause before the next chapter started. Both minor annoyances over a 22 hr book

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Excellent

Terrific exploration of the events and people surrounding the Lincoln assassination, both before and after. Remarkably well researched. I also thought that the narration was quite good.

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Good content ruined by bad narrator

Would you try another book from Michael Kauffman and/or Nelson Runger?

Michael Kauffman, yes. Nelson Runger, never.

Would you recommend American Brutus to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes but I would recommend the print version.

Would you be willing to try another one of Nelson Runger’s performances?

Never, worst I've ever listened to.

Could you see American Brutus being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not really

Any additional comments?

The content of this book is well researched and detailed. I enjoyed learning about the goings on of the time and about Booth's motives. I live in the Washington, DC area and many of the places were familiar to me so there was added interest to me personally.

Now for the negatives:

I could not get passed the narrator. I have listened to many audio books over the years and have never heard a worse narrator. I had to ask myself is this guy really a professional reader? Through out the whole reading you could hear constant lip smacking, swallow, and breathing. I always knew when a paragraph would end because Runger would pause for a solid 5+ seconds and lick his chops. It reminded me of when I give my dog peanut butter. After a while I felt ready to barf listening to it.

I would highly recommend the printed version of this book over the audio book.

2 people found this helpful