Q1 English 3 Benchmark: Kenny Le

Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

Book Review by Kenny Le

It is important that we learn about our greatest American heroes and villains. Role models are a big thing in today's life. Everyone wants to be a better person everyday. Everyone has goals whether it be personal or academic goals. Abraham Lincoln had good goals that he had to accomplish, but John Wilkes Booth put an end to the pursuit of those goals. Stories like this inspire people to do good things, and it inspires people to stop the harm that is being done by bad people. 

When I first opened Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, I expected to skim through the pages and see what the book is like. I wanted to find out why would they sell a book about Abraham Lincoln when most people already know what happened. I thought people probably bought it, because it's written by Bill O'Reilly. Bill O' Reilly is a political commentator, and he also has his own show on Fox, The O'Reilly Factor. It is common knowledge that people know what happened to Abraham Lincoln. If they do not know what happened to Lincoln, they can find out what happened by searching up Abraham Lincoln on the web. I skimmed through the book, and read the first page that got me hooked. 

In the beginning of the book, Abraham Lincoln is the President of the Union in the time of the Civil war. It recalls the final days of the war with Abraham Lincoln watching over the war. The story of Robert E. Lee battling against Ulysses S. Grant was very engaging. After the war, the book soon moves into a sequence of events where Lincoln is working to end the war, while John Wilkes Booth's plan goes into work to end Lincoln's life.

Killing Lincoln is a nonfiction book, but as I read it, it felt more of a fiction novel. Killing Lincoln is written as a thriller, and the book just keeps drawing you in and making you want to read more to find out what's going to happen next. Everyone knows how Lincoln's life ended, but the book creates anxiety for the reader making you ask questions like "What if?". There were so many moments where Lincoln could've been saved that I never even knew about. There were so many different things Lincoln could've done differently to protect himself. It makes you keep hoping that Lincoln will realize the dangers in his life, as the plot to end his life continues on. 

Killing Lincoln is a very readable book about history. It's not boring and dull like history textbooks or articles you often see in history class. The authors Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard do a really good job with presenting the details of the past without overwhelming you with too much information. I highly recommend people to pick up this book.