My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (Paperback)
The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Free Press, 9781416586067, 479pp.
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Praise For My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln…
"Filled with ambition, rivalry, betrayal, and tragedy, this story of the celebrated Shakespearean actor Junius Brutus Booth and the two sons, Edwin and John Wilkes, who competed to wear his crown, is as gripping as a fine work of fiction. Yet, given the role that the younger son played in murdering President Abraham Lincoln, My Thoughts Be Bloody is simultaneously an important work of history—the best account I have ever read of the complex forces that led John Wilkes Booth to carry a gun into Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865." --Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals
Provocative and revealing, Titone's first book provides another dimension to an iconic national calamity by alleging that John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln in part to establish his own importance within a family of theatrical rivals… Titone’s theory adds to the narrative without dismissing the political and cultural reasons for Wilkes Booth’s plot—his Confederate and proslavery sympathies have often been noted. She is most impressive in her use of primary sources and in her literary style.”—Library Journal
Why did John Wilkes Booth do it? In My Thoughts Be Bloody young historian Nora Titone is one of the few to have genuinely explored this question. In doing so, she has crafted a fascinating psychological drama about one of the central events of the Civil War: the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This book promises to stimulate lively historical debate, and will be a treat for every Civil War buff who always pondered that haunting question, “what made him pull that trigger?” Bravo on a marvelous achievement.
-- Jay Winik, author of April 1865 and The Great Upheaval
“The Booth family, like most involved with creative endeavors, produced brilliant eccentrics. What began as sibling rivalry transformed into something darker and deadly as national divisions became mirrored in family squabbles. How ironic that the greatest family of the American theatre produced the assassin of the greatest President who supported American theatre. For anyone wanting to know how this could happen, My Thoughts Be Bloody is the book to read.”
--Tom Schwartz, Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
"Nora Titone's energetic narrative persuades a reader that history must add to its indictment of Booth the crime of fratricide."
--Thomas Mallon, author of Henry and Clara
"This is narrative history at its most engaging and edifying: the forgotten story of a sibling rivalry, shot through with Shakespearean overtones, that played itself out tragically on the national stage. With the authority of a historian, and the dramatic talents of a novelist, Nora Titone has written a book full of surprises that will fundamentally change the way Americans think about John Wilkes Booth."
--Toby Lester, author of The Fourth Part of the World
"The new light [Titone] shines on the Booth family provides some compelling context for the Lincoln assassination."-- The Dallas Morning News
"Titone's riveting book - written with the authority of a historian and the twists and turns of a novelist - leads us to see Lincoln's killing, for the first time, through the crucible of bitter sibling rivalry...A great read." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"Titone uncovers a narrative as old as Cain and Abel. She also casts the nineteenth century’s greatest True Crime story in a new light." --New England Quarterly Review