Manhunt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer is extraordinary. Beginning with President Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre, this historic account roars along following the cat-and-mouse chase that ensued in the next 12 days between police from across the country and the small band of co-conspirators led by the assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

Year after year I have studied the Lincoln assassination in school, but I never grasped its full drama. However, Swanson’s amazing attention to detail and the confusion and outrage conveyed by the citizens combine to overwhelm the reader and create the feeling that you are right there, watching the horror unfold. The book jumps to different locales, from the stately Ford’s Theatre through the streets of Washington, the farmland of Maryland, across swampy waters, and into Confederate Virginia. Booth was not alone in his plans, and the book also documents his overlooked co-conspirators in their unsuccessful attempt to murder the Vice President and the Secretary of State in Lincoln’s cabinet.

Not only does Swanson manage to juggle a cast of characters to create a coherent storyline, but he does so with unprecedented scrupulousness. His book cites hundreds of sources, including government documents, trial transcripts, manuscripts, letters, diary entries, and more. With many exciting scenes, who knew a history book could be so very gripping?

Manhunt was a New York Times bestseller for a reason: It coherently mixes history with action and suspense. Like a fast-paced episode of “CSI,” this tale visits the crime scene, the chases, the courtrooms, and more. Swanson balances perfectly the intensity of a chase scene with the details and facts of a textbook. To top it off, each detail brings the characters (both the hunters and the hunted) to a human level, a facet missing in most history books.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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jorge a. said...
Sept. 18, 2008 at 1:37 pm
awsome
 
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