03-02-2007 12:04 PM
Hello, this is James L. Swanson. I am delighted to welcome you to the Barnes and Noble Book Club for Manhunt. I look forward a spirited discussion.
I often say I owe my interest in Abraham Lincoln and his assassination to my parents for picking Lincoln's birthday, February 12, as my birthday. When I was a child, as far back as I can remember, I received Lincoln books, trinkets, medals, and souvenirs as gifts. I became interested in the assassination when I was ten years old, when my grandmother, a veteran of the old, long-vanished Chicago tabloid newspaper scene, gave me a wonderful engraving of John Wilkes Booth's Derringer pistol. Framed with this engraving was a clipping from the Chicago Tribune dated April 15, 1865, the day Lincoln died. Unfortunately the clipping was incomplete, so when I was a child, I could read part of the story, but it came to an abrupt end. I remember vividly one night when I read that clipping over and over and thought, "I want to read the rest of the story."
It took a couple of decades, but one of the most thrilling things I did as part of the research for Manhunt was to acquire an entire run of rare, original issues of the Chicago Tribune -- about 100 newspapers -- from the end of the Civil War through the death of Lincoln and the trial of the conspirators. Later, as I got older and learned more about Lincoln, I began collecting at a more advanced level-books from the Civil War, newspapers, posters announcing the death of Lincoln, original photographs, and more. I remember when in high school, instead of buying a used car, I purchased one of the rare original reward posters offering a $100,000.00 reward for the Lincoln assassins. Once I got to college, I studied the assassination of Lincoln and Lincoln's era ever more seriously. I was a student of John Hope Franklin at the University of Chicago and took his wonderful courses on the Civil War era and on the history of the American South. That's really how my interest began, grew into Manhunt, and continues to this day.
About the Author
James L. Swanson, the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, is an attorney who has held a number of government and think-tank posts in Washington, D.C.
Born on Lincoln's birthday, he has studied and collected books, documents, art, and artifacts connected with Abraham Lincoln's life and death since he was ten years old. He has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Swanson is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He lives in Washington, D.C.
03-05-2007 03:45 PM
03-06-2007 06:27 PM
I also like "Blue Blood" a book about the NYPD by a NYPD detective who is a Harvard grad. I found the vocabulary mouth-watering. (The detective is currently "on the job.")
Another book that was interesting was "Low Life" by Luc Sante about just that in 19th century NYC. It was so well written but spoiled by almost endless lists of examples of various topics he covers--that annoyed me.
Keep writing, James.
03-06-2007 06:30 PM
03-07-2007 12:51 PM
HOW DID THAT SMILEY FACE GET THERE. MAYBE SOMEONE CAN HELP ME. I DID NOT INTEND TO USE IT AND WANT TO AVOID USING IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well first of all remember too that typing in all caps is considered impolite in here lol, like yelling. (about anywhere on net i think but in the guidelines here too). You can make emoticons (the faces) in here if you know the keys to use and they are alright to use. Your smiley face in your message that you did not want, is only made one way... you make a wink with a semicolon ; followed by a right parenthesis ). sometimes it accidently happens when someone is doing a parenthesis, that they touch the semi colon too. but here is the ; and ) together: and if you want just a happy face, its a full colon : and a ) so you get and a sad face is a full colon : with a left parenthesis ( so you get this . Those are the most common and can accidently get hit. If you preview your post before you send, you will see them to get rid of if you dont want them. Its ok its there so dont worry about it. Also you have 90 minutes to go back and edit your post so if you submit it and then see something wrong, you can go back in and take it out, add to it,or change it. Happy trails.
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb