• Killing Lincoln

  • The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever
  • By: Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Bill O'Reilly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (10,743 ratings)

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Killing Lincoln

By: Bill O'Reilly,Martin Dugard
Narrated by: Bill O'Reilly
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Publisher's Summary

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega best-selling author Bill O'Reilly. 

The iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history - how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased. 

In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington, DC, John Wilkes Booth - charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist - murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions - including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. 

Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and pause-resisting action, Killing Lincoln is history that comes across like a thriller.

©2011 Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"As a history major, I wish my required reading had been as well written as this truly vivid and emotionally engaging account of Lincoln's assassination. And as a former combat infantry officer, I found myself running for cover at the Civil War battle scenes. This is the story of an American tragedy that changed the course of history. If you think you know this story, you don't until you’ve read Killing Lincoln. Add historian to Bill O’Reilly’s already impressive résumé." (Nelson DeMille, author of The Lion and The Gold Coast)
"[ Killing Lincoln] is nonfiction, albeit told in white-knuckled, John Grisham-like style." ( New York Post)
"If Grisham wrote a novel about April 1865…it might well read like Killing Lincoln." (Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek)

What listeners say about Killing Lincoln

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

What disappointed you about Killing Lincoln?

Poorly written and poorly read.

Would you ever listen to anything by Bill O'Reilly, and Martin Dugard again?

No

What didn’t you like about Bill O'Reilly’s performance?

His style is not appropriate to the subject matter. Needs a professional reader rather than O's hard boiled news style. He sounds exactly as he does when he reads his talking points on TV. Some laughable mispronunciations of rather critical words like dura mater (he calls it dura matter--if you are going to seem erudite by including anatomical detail, then pronounce it correctly. This type of thing typifies the whole enterprise.

Any additional comments?

A few new nuggets, but their reliability is unclear. Many superficial chapters about battles before getting to the conspiracy. Casual, twenty first century colloquial style inappropriate to the gravity of the subject. Lincoln "scarffed" his breakfast?? Some stories don't recount interesting facts like the actual conversation Lincoln had at breakfast on the day of Assassination. Rank speculation not excusable by saying "hey this is just speculation." Not a serious book. Save your money for the myriad excellent Lincoln books available.

55 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The word is cavalry not Calvary

Most annoying to me was Bill O'Reilly's pronunciation of cavalry which was in the book at least 100 times and never correctly spoken. Perhaps Bill should have allowed someone else to narrate his book. I've read many books about Lincoln and this one didn't really provide any new or different insight but it was interesting enough to keep me listening. A better choice would be "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer".

52 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly mediocre

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding this book which seems to me entirely undeserved: there is nothing in this book worth arguing about. The beginning of the book where the authors talk about the last battles of the war and the surrender of Lee is interesting and well done. Unfortunately, after that it is dull.

This book does not proffer any new theories nor add any new historical revelations. As history, it is bland.

As an audio book, it is pretty bad. Bill Reilly is not a good narrator. His voice isn't pleasant and his reading is flat as a pancake. Flatter than a pancake, actually. Celebrity is not enough to make a good narrator.

There are many other books written on this subject that are much better than this one. There are much better analyses of the available materials. If it weren't a Bill O'Reilly project, the book would have been dismissed as inconsequential. But I did enjoy the first couple of chapters ... pity the rest of the book was so dismal.

44 people found this helpful

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A must read for any history lover!

The book is an outstanding account of the time before Lincoln's death. The book covers much more than just the assasination plot, it goes in to the battles that lead up to General Lee's surrender. Read like a thriller, Killing Lincoln is a book that you don't want to stop listening to. Convieniently broken down into small chapters it is great for listening to on your drive to work or anytime that you have a few minutes to stop and listen.

36 people found this helpful

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Well writte,poorly narrated!!

This book is very well written.If it had been narrated by someone else I would have rated it higher. Too bad Mr O' Riley couldn't resist the urge to read it !!! I felt like there was an assault on my hearing. I don't need to have a book YELLED at me. !!!!

28 people found this helpful

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O'Reily's a news man not a Narraitor

I love Bill on the news, watch hin every night. I love history. However his narration style makes this a hard listen. It just doesn't work. That is his huge ego coming out. Some things should be left to an expert. Aside from the narration the story is very interesting. With proper narration it would be five stars. Bill don't be so cheep hire a professional and kill this release. I would even buy it paying twice for the book just so I could enjoy it once.

28 people found this helpful

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Decent Book - Bad Narration

Any additional comments?

O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" was really good. This book was enjoyable but not as good.

Unfortunately, O'Reilly became very annoying by using the word "cavalry" hundreds of times, but pronouncing it "calvary" every time. There were a few other quirks—like saying "century" when he meant "sentry" or mispronouncing "pandemonium"—but the confusion of Golgatha with a horse soldier happened every few seconds for the first two and a half hours of the book and became grating—like a person who says "nook-cyoo-ler" and then manages to use it in every sentence.

27 people found this helpful

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History Made Interesting

What did you love best about Killing Lincoln?

I learned some aspects about the Lincoln assassination which were previously unknow to me.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Lincoln?

The part I found most memorable was learning that Lincoln was supposed to have a bodyguard controlling egress to his booth at the Ford Theater and this duffus ended up taking off to indulge in some drinks at the bar next door. If he'd stayed at his post and resisted Booth's undeterred entrance to Lincoln's booth, the whole assassination attempt would have probably been foiled and the subsequent history would have taken a whole different path. That this clown went unpunished while all the southern conspirators ended up with a bullet through the throat or at the end of a rope (even Mary Surrott) makes one recognize that the idoicies of our current era are not necessarily any more ridiculous than the ones of 137 years ago.

What does Bill O'Reilly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I've been a fan of Bill O'Reilly on Fox News'

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The fact that Linocln hung on as long as he did, and died the next day made his ultimate demise seem all the more moving.

Any additional comments?

Access to this audio book was a Christmas gift from my son. I've enjoyed having the opportunity to hear this particular book read by one of my favorite TV news commentators, so I want to thank my son for his generosity.

23 people found this helpful

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Real-life Thriller

Fast paced, true, story about courage and the will to do something great. The narration was excellent, and the story superb. Definitely worth your time!

21 people found this helpful

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Good story... Needs a skilled reader

Enjoyed the story; It provided a good historical context for the subject matter.... my only gripe: Bill O'Reilly never pronounced the word "cavalry" correctly. Each time he said "Calvary" I heard myself saying "cavalry" aloud in the hopeless desire to correct him. I almost stopped listening out of frustration, but luckily the Civil War ended at just the right time.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-22-22

very informative

well read &
well documented
very bipatisan
myth busting
must read for history buffs ..

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • james
  • 07-01-18

my favourite one so far

great book and it's read well. Love the history and very informative. money well spent

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Morgan
  • 11-13-17

review

good story and the teller slso put in some effort. plot was quite enthralling. overall recommended.

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  • Neil
  • 11-24-16

Bringing it to life.

Not sure how much of the story is fiction but written in a style which always keeps you engaged.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David Richardson
  • 04-07-13

A bit disappointing

I got this title in to get some background anticipation of watching the Day-Lewis movie. It was rather disappointing though, certainly in the earliest parts of the book where a great deal of time seems to be spent discussing closing battles of the Civil War which are of tangential relevance at best to the assassination. The author also seems to have had unique access to Wilkes Booth's unexpressed thoughts - we are frequently told what the assassin was thinking or feeling without any obvious source material. The actual story of the assassination is reasonably well told but I suspect that there are better books out there.