The Lincoln Conspiracy
Everyone knows the story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, but few are aware of the original conspiracy to kill him four years earlier in 1861, literally on his way to Washington, DC, for his first inauguration. The conspirators were part of a pro-Southern secret society that didn’t want an anti-slavery President in the White House. They planned an elaborate scheme to assassinate the brand new President in a Baltimore train station as Lincoln’s inauguration train passed through en route to the Capital. The plot was investigated by famed detective Allan Pinkerton, who infiltrated the group with undercover agents, including one of the first female private detectives in America. Had the assassination succeeded, there would have been no Lincoln Presidency, and the course of the Civil War and American history would have forever been altered.The bestselling team that brought you The First Conspiracy now turns their attention to the story of the secret society that tried to kill Abraham Lincoln and the undercover detectives who foiled their plans.

The Lincoln Conspiracy Details

TitleThe Lincoln Conspiracy
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 5th, 2020
PublisherFlatiron Books
ISBN-139781250317476
Rating
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Politics, Historical, Biography, Military History, Civil War, Audiobook, Biography Memoir, United States

The Lincoln Conspiracy Review

  • Brad Meltzer
    January 1, 1970
    I'm biased, but I loved it. Seriously, can't WAIT to share this with you all! xo
  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    In their second collaborative piece about a little-known assassination plot on a president, Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch turn to one of the most beloved—or hated, depending on your outlook—men ever to ascend to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln. Little known by many at the time of his election, Lincoln was not one to shy away from controversy for his strong anti-slavery views. He toppled favourites to win the Republican nomination and then entered a presidential fight that was drawn along more tha In their second collaborative piece about a little-known assassination plot on a president, Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch turn to one of the most beloved—or hated, depending on your outlook—men ever to ascend to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln. Little known by many at the time of his election, Lincoln was not one to shy away from controversy for his strong anti-slavery views. He toppled favourites to win the Republican nomination and then entered a presidential fight that was drawn along more than state or party lines, woven into the fabric of a still adolescent America. As Meltzer and Mensch illustrate, there was trouble brewing before the ballots were cast, but once Lincoln won, those who did not support him came out in droves. Of those who sought to keep slavery intact and reacted with the most vigour was a group called the Knights of the Golden Circle. This covert group had plans to remove the man and rebalance the American political situation before Lincoln could official spend a day in office, during a stop in Baltimore. While there have been numerous presidential assassination attempts and successes—Lincoln included—none had been successfully plotted or executed by a group on a president-elect. As news of the Knights plan leaked, a little known detective agency was brought in to help foil the plot and keep the president from being pushed into the crosshairs. This is the story of the Knights, their plot, and how it was stymied by some quick thinking. With wonderful detail and quotes from all parties involved, Meltzer and Mensch keep the reader feeling right in the thick of things of this situation that has barely—if ever—made mention in any history books. Recommended to those who love a good political drama that’s steeped in history and intrigue, as well as the reader who loves learning about some of the parts of American history that are not readily seen in every school primer text.I have long loved the work of Brad Meltzer and am thoroughly impressed with the work that he does alongside Josh Mensch. Some bemoan that the book is too outlandish, though I think the fact that this was a real event and not something pulled from the fictional archives of a stellar writer—of which Meltzer surely is—makes it all the more exciting. Laying the groundwork, the authors provide the reader with some backstories on all the key characters involved in the situation, including a few about whom I knew nothing before reading this book. With this and a healthy dose of the political situation at the time, the reader can see the developing plot to kill Lincoln during his ride towards Washington for the inauguration in early March 1861. The details of the story are clear and flow so well, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, as one would expect in a piece of well-crafted fiction, though this is surely steeped in reality. The authors use a great narrative style that removes much of the stuffy nature that can be found in recounting historical happenings without losing the importance of the events being shared. With a mix of short and longer chapters, the reader can learn what they need to without getting bogged down in too much minutiae, though the information was plentiful on each page. The eventual assassination plot and its execution by the likes of John Wilkes Booth dominate the history texts, but Meltzer and Mensch bring to life this earlier attempt to shed some light on just how hated Lincoln and his beliefs were to many within the country, as well as to the extent to which parts of the American public were happy to see their as-yet official president killed and left as an asterisk in the history texts. No president will match the character and actions of Abraham Lincoln, though some will try to spin it to make their megalomaniacal ego glow even more!Kudos, Messers. Meltzer and Mensch, for this refreshing look at America on the brink and one of its leaders who dodged a literal bullet to effect change.Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • KC
    January 1, 1970
    This is the great story of how a small-time detective firm and its agents (men & women) were able to infiltrate, gather information, and befriend the members of a well established pro-Southern secret society who were plotting to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln. For history and true-crime buffs. This is the great story of how a small-time detective firm and its agents (men & women) were able to infiltrate, gather information, and befriend the members of a well established pro-Southern secret society who were plotting to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln. For history and true-crime buffs.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Brad Meltzer's second presidential conspiracy is a fast paced thriller with a difference. It actually happened! Had the assassination plot been successful would have had devastating results for the young, and future American nation. Find a comfortable reading spot, the book is impossible to put down. I look forward to the next book.
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastic! I easily give this book 5 stars. The historical detail is amazing. Clearly Meltzer and Mensch did a lot of research—all well documented. The details are woven through a compelling narrative that presents the information not as a dry history book but as an intense political mystery thriller. I’ve read many history books, but the way Meltzer/Mencsh present theirs is both informative and exciting. A great read about a little known conspiracy to kill President-Elect Abraham Lincoln. Two f Fantastic! I easily give this book 5 stars. The historical detail is amazing. Clearly Meltzer and Mensch did a lot of research—all well documented. The details are woven through a compelling narrative that presents the information not as a dry history book but as an intense political mystery thriller. I’ve read many history books, but the way Meltzer/Mencsh present theirs is both informative and exciting. A great read about a little known conspiracy to kill President-Elect Abraham Lincoln. Two favorite quotes: "The hardest fights don’t reveal a winner—they reveal character.""America is not simply a country of ideas; we are a country of ideals. What makes America exceptional isn’t our weapons or our might. It’s our principles and our continuing to fight to live up to them. Faced with darkness, we must each reach for the light."
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  • Gary Parkes
    January 1, 1970
    Another excellent read from Brad Meltzer! Highly recommend!
  • W. Whalin
    January 1, 1970
    Read this Page TurnerBestselling author Brad Meltzer has combined forces again with historian Josh Mensch to create another riveting look at history about our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. I’ve been a reader and fan of the contemporary thrillers from Meltzer and have enjoyed the other history books when these authors join forces. It combines excellent storytelling with careful historical research—as documented in the pages of endnotes in these books. As you read, you learn remarkable insights Read this Page TurnerBestselling author Brad Meltzer has combined forces again with historian Josh Mensch to create another riveting look at history about our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. I’ve been a reader and fan of the contemporary thrillers from Meltzer and have enjoyed the other history books when these authors join forces. It combines excellent storytelling with careful historical research—as documented in the pages of endnotes in these books. As you read, you learn remarkable insights about Abraham Lincoln. Toward the end of the book, the well-known African American journalist Frederick Douglass meets President Lincoln at the White House. “As Douglass approached and was introduced to the President, Lincoln rose and extended his hand to welcome him. “At once I felt myself in the presence of an honest man,” Douglass wrote, “one whom I could love, honor, and trust without reserve or doubt.” (Page 357) I loved the writing and found the story engaging. I recommend THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY – particularly if you enjoy learning about some unusual history.W. Terry Whalin is an editor and the author of more than 60 books including 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    The Lincoln ConspiracyBrad Meltzer & John MenschNarrated by Scott BrickIn 1861 a few days before his inauguration as the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln escaped a bold assignation attempt by pro Southern white supremacists that wanted to stop the “Abolitionist Black President” from taking office. We all know what cemented President Lincoln’s place in history, his Presidency during the Civil War, his views on slavery and his assassination by Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth in April of 1865 The Lincoln ConspiracyBrad Meltzer & John MenschNarrated by Scott BrickIn 1861 a few days before his inauguration as the 16th President, Abraham Lincoln escaped a bold assignation attempt by pro Southern white supremacists that wanted to stop the “Abolitionist Black President” from taking office. We all know what cemented President Lincoln’s place in history, his Presidency during the Civil War, his views on slavery and his assassination by Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth in April of 1865 but what often gets lost in history is the 1861 Baltimore plot against his life and how it was stopped because of an odd series of events that Brad Meltzer brings to life in The Lincoln Conspiracy. The book shifts between 1856 and 1861 where the author goes into detail not only about the facts leading up to the attempted assassination but also the reasons behind Lincoln’s rise to fame and eventual election as President. He also brings to the reader’s attention the many individuals who helped investigate and stop the assassination attempt, like Lincoln’s inner circle and names like Chicagoan, Alan Pinkerton, America’s first private eye, his detective Kate Warne, America’s first female detective and other Pinkerton employees working undercover finding details about the plot. The audience also gets a close look at how devoted Lincoln and his family were to each other, the workings of Washington and State politics and the fledgling Republican Party. And if readers think today’s politicians are brutal they should have been witness to the actual beatings that often took place on the floor of the House and Senate. What makes this book exceptional is not only how he brilliantly and factually tells his story but also the way he invests his readers in the tale not only by adding hard facts but also the minutiae of human-interest facts like why Lincoln grew a beard. This is definitely a book that even fiction lovers will find hard to put down, the perfect read for historical lovers and those who love Civil War and Lincoln non-fiction.The narration by Scott Brick is the perfect way to enjoy this book, his clear calm voice is easy to understand and he puts just the right emotional emphasis in just the right places.
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  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of history in general, but Presidential history and more specifically Presidential assassination attempts are fascinating. When it was announced that this book was actually coming I was thrilled! The amount of details in this book painted a very clear picture of place, time and physical description of the parties involved and how the story unfolds. I found a new person to admire, Kate Warne, our first female detective! I also was quite surprised to see that for me, there was a lo I am a huge fan of history in general, but Presidential history and more specifically Presidential assassination attempts are fascinating. When it was announced that this book was actually coming I was thrilled! The amount of details in this book painted a very clear picture of place, time and physical description of the parties involved and how the story unfolds. I found a new person to admire, Kate Warne, our first female detective! I also was quite surprised to see that for me, there was a local connection in the storyline. The town Kate travels to, Jenkintown, PA is a neighboring town from where I live so how cool is that ! I would love to see if the building still stands. I know we all know how the story ends, but I really was kept in suspense, just waiting to see what happened next. These types of details and facts are why I love Brad Meltzer and now Josh Mensch. They are great storytellers, the research and details are what keep me reading their books. A great team together for sure, I look forward to see who is next Garfield,McKinley, FDR or Truman? Who knows may a non presidential assassination attempt?! I just know it will be another great read!
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  • Chris (Norseman) Miller
    January 1, 1970
    It read like a thriller, it was page turning/exciting, and I was reading history!! Congrats on a phenomenal piece of art Brad! Clearly worthy of the @nytimesbooks bestseller status!Detailed research enables great storytelling and Josh and Brad do a great job lining the story of the rise to the presidency while showing the past forms what you are as you grow! Phenomenal character development and historical timelines make it read like fiction but tell an important piece of history!!
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  • Gwen Vangelisto
    January 1, 1970
    I always love stories of Lincoln. The plan to kill him before he even was sworn in to office is shocking. This book is very detailed.... a long read. It is we’ll written but still difficult to get through all the minute items. It makes us ponder what our country would be today if it would have been successful... scary thought. There are great messages in here especially for current events happening.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    FANTASTIC book! I devour any book about Lincoln, but adding conspiracy, espionage and a shocking plot to assassinate a president-elect made it hard to put down. Clearly well researched, well-written and it reads like a thriller. I noticed some interesting parallels to today - such as the media's treatment of a president they did not like (in the South). So good.
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  • Caitie
    January 1, 1970
    I did like this book, but I felt as though many parts of it dragged on for too long. I get that the author needed to tie the various stories together, but the chapters were so short that once I’d get involved in one area then we were suddenly onto the next thing.
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  • Ray Palen
    January 1, 1970
    'There's a secret on this train.'Thus starts the Prologue to THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, a work of Historical Fiction that reads like a page-turning thriller. The most amazing thing about this book is that everything that happens inside these pages is absolutely true! Many parts of the story are reinforced with photos and images, some of which I never saw before in prior works involving Lincoln or the Civil War. It's almost like your American History Textbook became c 'There's a secret on this train.'Thus starts the Prologue to THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, a work of Historical Fiction that reads like a page-turning thriller. The most amazing thing about this book is that everything that happens inside these pages is absolutely true! Many parts of the story are reinforced with photos and images, some of which I never saw before in prior works involving Lincoln or the Civil War. It's almost like your American History Textbook became cool and could be read like a best-selling novel.To take a step back and put everything into perspective for a moment --- we as a nation, and world, are going through one of the most trying times in human history. From a national perspective, whether you are a supporter or not, it can be agreed that the American President is facing one of the biggest national issues in the history of our country. That brings me back to THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY. It is now mind-blowing when you think that many of the issues and events facing Abraham Lincoln, both as President-elect and then our 16th President, were up to that point unprecedented. Those who follow my reviews or know me personally are aware that I work at Walt Disney World. My favorite place there is EPCOT, specifically the World Showcase. I have viewed the American Adventure film at the American Pavilion countless times. The one part of that film which always sends chills down my spine is the picture of a solitary Abraham Lincoln, standing before a window in the White House on the eve of the Civil War. I don't think any photo, Spielberg film or text can fully portray the weight that this man had on his shoulders --- a weight that no President before or since was faced with.These facts are what made reading THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY that much more interesting for me. We all know what happened during the Civil War and the assassination of Lincoln that shortly followed, but many of us probably were not aware of the serious threat to Lincoln's life that he faced as he embarked on a train tour of the country while he was still President-elect. Like the opening line of the Prologue, it will all come down to the train and the skill and bravery of the few who stepped up to ensure that Abraham Lincoln would make his inauguration and be successfully sworn in as our 16th American President.There was actually a conspiracy that came out of the meetings of a secret group that called themselves the Knights Of the Golden Circle or KGC. This group was also a precursor for other hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The 'citizens' who make-up this group were very much pro-slavery to the point of wanting a succession of pro-slavery states from the rest of the Union. In addition, the last thing they want to be faced with is a President who is anti-slavery, one who spoke well and could rally the spirit of much of the country behind that cause. As far as the KGC was concerned, Abraham Lincoln needed to die before this train tour ever got him to Washington D.C.THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY jumps back and forth in time and also gives a historical context of Lincoln's rise to the American Presidency. Even though much of this is information we have read in school textbooks or watched in various documentaries and film adaptations, in the hands of Meltzer & Mensch this is told in riveting fashion. The narrative is so fluid and interesting that you find yourself rooting for Lincoln like he was the heroic protagonist in a fantasy novel. The intent of the 'bad guys' is to have Lincoln killed in Baltimore. It will take the work of a number of people to protect him and see him safely through. Some of that group bearing this huge responsibility are people who had been political adversaries of Lincoln such as Stephen Douglas and William Henry Seward, former Governor of New York and the man Lincoln beat to become our 16th President.However, it will take more than just politicians to build support and protection for Lincoln. It will take the man who was later called the first American Detective --- William Pinkerton. Pinkerton and his Security company are given the case of protecting Abraham Lincoln during this train tour. We are also introduced to one of Pinkerton's first hires, the first female American Detective --- Kate Warne, who was also actively involved in this case. Yet having the conspiracy revealed and knowing that Lincoln does survive this ordeal does not take an ounce of tension out of the reading experience of THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY.We witness Lincoln's inauguration and the changing of the guard between he and his predecessor, President James Buchanan. Buchanan famously states to Lincoln: 'If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering the White House as I am in leaving it, you are the happiest man in the country.' The Acknowledgements and Credits are almost as long as a novella and shows the depth of research Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch brought to this engaging and exhilarating read, THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY.Reviewed by Ray Palen for Book Reporter
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  • Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir
    January 1, 1970
    “There's a secret on this train.”Thus begins the Prologue to THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, a historical work that reads like a page-turning thriller. Many parts of the story are reinforced with photos and images, some of which I never saw before in other books about Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War. It's almost like your American history textbook became cool and could be read like a bestselling novel.To take a step back for a moment and put everything in perspective, we “There's a secret on this train.”Thus begins the Prologue to THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, a historical work that reads like a page-turning thriller. Many parts of the story are reinforced with photos and images, some of which I never saw before in other books about Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War. It's almost like your American history textbook became cool and could be read like a bestselling novel.To take a step back for a moment and put everything in perspective, we as a nation, and a world, are going through some of the most trying times we’ve ever had to endure. Whether or not you are a supporter, there’s no denying that President Trump is dealing with one of the biggest crises in our nation’s history. It is now mind-blowing to think that many of the issues and events facing Lincoln, both as President-elect and as our 16th President, were unprecedented up to that point.Those who follow my reviews or know me personally are aware that I work at Walt Disney World. My favorite place there is EPCOT, specifically the World Showcase. I have viewed the American Adventure film at the American Pavilion countless times. The one part that always sends chills down my spine is the picture of a solitary Lincoln, standing before a window in the White House on the eve of the Civil War. I don't think that any photo, Spielberg movie or text can fully portray the weight that this man had on his shoulders --- a weight that no President before or since had to face.These facts are what made reading THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY that much more fascinating for me. We all know what happened during the Civil War and the assassination of Lincoln that shortly followed, but many of us probably are not aware of the serious threat to his life as he embarked on a train tour of the country while still President-elect. Like the opening line of the Prologue, it all will come down to the train and the skill and bravery of the few who stepped up to ensure that he would make his inauguration and be successfully sworn in as our 16th President.There was actually a conspiracy that came out of the meetings of a secret group that called themselves the Knights of the Golden Circle, or KGC, a precursor to other hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. These “citizens” were very much pro-slavery to the point of wanting a secession of pro-slavery states from the rest of the Union. The last thing they wanted to be faced with was a President who was anti-slavery, spoke well and could rally the spirit of much of the country behind that cause. As far as the KGC was concerned, Lincoln needed to die before the train ever got him to Washington, D.C.THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY jumps back and forth in time and gives readers a historical context to Lincoln's rise to the presidency. Even though we have found out much of this information through school textbooks or various documentaries and film adaptations, in the hands of Meltzer and Mensch, it is told in riveting fashion. The narrative is so fluid and interesting that you find yourself rooting for Lincoln like he was the heroic protagonist in a fantasy novel. The intent of the “bad guys” is to have him killed in Baltimore.It will take the work of a number of people to protect him and see him safely through. Some of those bearing this huge responsibility had been political adversaries, such as Stephen Douglas and William Henry Seward, former Governor of New York and the man Lincoln beat to become President. Allan Pinkerton, the first American detective, and his security company are also brought on, along with Kate Warne, the first female detective. Having the conspiracy revealed and knowing that Lincoln does survive this ordeal does not take an ounce of tension out of the reading experience.We witness Lincoln's inauguration and the changing of the guard between him and his predecessor, James Buchanan. Buchanan famously states to Lincoln: “If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering the White House as I am in leaving it, you are the happiest man in the country.” The Acknowledgements and Credits are almost as long as a novella and show the depth of research that Meltzer and Mensch brought to this engaging and exhilarating book.Reviewed by Ray Palen
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  • Monnie
    January 1, 1970
    True story: A college history class was so bad that I changed my major to avoid taking another one - and changed the course of my career (for the better, fortunately, but that's another story). Suffice it to say I'm not a history buff. So why in the world would I even consider reading a book like this?Good question, and three answers come to mind: First, I'm familiar with, and respect the work of, the authors; second is an enticing title and description. The third is perhaps happenstance; being True story: A college history class was so bad that I changed my major to avoid taking another one - and changed the course of my career (for the better, fortunately, but that's another story). Suffice it to say I'm not a history buff. So why in the world would I even consider reading a book like this?Good question, and three answers come to mind: First, I'm familiar with, and respect the work of, the authors; second is an enticing title and description. The third is perhaps happenstance; being mostly stuck at home to avoid catching the deadly COVID-19 and thus having time to read more books than usual, I simply needed a break from the mystery/thrillers that I favor almost to the exclusion of other genres.Now that I've finished this one, I've come to a couple of conclusions: First of all, this is a well-written, easy-to-read and informative book. It also made me realize that I should venture outside my reading comfort zone more often. Put another way, maybe - just maybe - I don't hate history nearly as much as I thought I did.As the subtitle suggests ("The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President - and Why It Failed"), there was a little-known plan to assassinate Abraham Lincoln before he could be inaugurated - in fact, as he traveled to Washington, D.C., for the event. It's no secret that many Americans, especially those in states that supported slavery, weren't happy with Lincoln's election. While at the time he didn't promise to abolish slavery outright, he was personally against the practice and said he would not support slavery in new western states that wanted to join the Union. Apparently, a few fringe groups - perhaps forerunners to today's Ku Klux Klan - decided that the best defense was a good offense. They would, they vowed, prevent the newly elected President from even getting a foot in the Oval Office door.The story reveals their plan and the subsequent investigation of it, led by noted detective Allan Pinkerton, as he and his team infiltrate the groups to learn specifics and, most important, develop a plan of their own to foil the instigators. Readers then follow Lincoln and his traveling companions as they almost literally inched their way toward the nation's capital city (transportation was, shall we say, a bit slower then than now; at one point, lacking a railroad bridge over a river, rail cars had to be disconnected and ferried across the river to be reattached on the other side). Stops in cities large and small, like Cincinnati and Westfield, New York - home of the little girl who, we all should recall, suggested to Lincoln that he grow a beard to improve his appearance - add a different and welcome dimension to the events of the days. Just as an aside, I must say I'm familiar with Westfield for a very different reason - it's the site of Barcelona Harbor (Lake Erie) and a unique lighthouse we've visited and photographed many times.More than that I'll leave for other readers, saying only that I enjoyed the book immensely; just the revelation that heretofore mostly boring history actually could be interesting was enough to make me happy. But I also learned a lot - just ask my husband, who endured my interruptions of, "Wow, honey, did you know..." until he gave up and started reading the book for himself (bless his heart). I should also note that substantial documentation and sources are included at the end of the story (helpful for those who might like to learn even more). All told, I highly recommend this book - even if you aren't a fan of history, it's likely you'll think of it in kinder terms after you read this. Kudos to the authors for undertaking such a meaningful project!
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  • Darren
    January 1, 1970
    TITLE: The Lincoln ConspiracyAUTHOR(s): Brad Meltzer and Josh MenschGENRE: HistoryPAGES: 455FORMAT: E-readerLet’s jump right in on this one. Everyone knows the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. How many of us know about the attempt made on his way to the inauguration in 1861? Anyone?After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, several events launched into motion. South Carolina started the mad dash for southern states to secede from the union. Several secret societies in a TITLE: The Lincoln ConspiracyAUTHOR(s): Brad Meltzer and Josh MenschGENRE: HistoryPAGES: 455FORMAT: E-readerLet’s jump right in on this one. Everyone knows the story of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. How many of us know about the attempt made on his way to the inauguration in 1861? Anyone?After Abraham Lincoln was elected president, several events launched into motion. South Carolina started the mad dash for southern states to secede from the union. Several secret societies in and around Baltimore, Maryland plotted to assassinate the newly elected president on his way to the inauguration. And Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.All of this and more can be found in the pages of Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch’s The Lincoln Conspiracy. The true magic of this book is it IS history, but it reads like a thriller. This statement should not be taken lightly. If all history read this way, history would be a more popular subject. The story is told with such love and precision that you are right there in the mix of things, feeling what Allan Pinkerton and his crew felt as they worked to stop an assassination attempt, what Lincoln felt as the country was separating before he even took office, As each page is turned, so is the tension ratcheted up and you cannot help but want to see what happens next. This is not the kind of book where you rest on your laurels knowing what happens later on because the fact remains that history was very nearly altered before Lincoln even took office.Then the follow up, events that happened after the inauguration and beyond. We know that the American Civil War started during Lincoln’s presidency. How many of us realize it started around a month after the inauguration? This is history that is meant to be lived, experienced, enjoyed, and in the end become a part of the reader.5 very enthusiastic bookmarks out of 5.
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  • Richard West
    January 1, 1970
    A number of years ago Brad Meltzer established himself as a novelist, his fiction taking place for the most in the Halls of Congress and the bowels (some call it a swamp) of Washington, D.C. At some point, he discovered he liked writing about American history and turned to that, cranking out countless children's books about American historical characters and this one, his second concerning little known, and if known, little remembered incidents in American history.This, like his previous effort, A number of years ago Brad Meltzer established himself as a novelist, his fiction taking place for the most in the Halls of Congress and the bowels (some call it a swamp) of Washington, D.C. At some point, he discovered he liked writing about American history and turned to that, cranking out countless children's books about American historical characters and this one, his second concerning little known, and if known, little remembered incidents in American history.This, like his previous effort, takes one of those incidents and goes into meticulous, easy-to-read detail about it. This one centers around an assassination plot to take out Abe Lincoln before he's had a chance to be inaugurated as President. Everything you might expect is there - secret societies, conspiracies, a plot by various nefarious figures to commit the dastardly deed in Baltimore - everything you would find in a novel. The only difference is, this is true. Meltzer and co-author Josh Mensch lead the reader through the plot via meticulous research and as the book progresses, you wonder, what if they had succeeded? How would the history of this country have been different? Would the Confederacy have won the Civil War? Obviously, Lincoln, largely inexperienced in such things, was the right person at the right time, guiding the Union through it's most tumultuous time to the point where most people agree he was this country's greatest President. Absolutely fascinating, interesting, it's a page-turner and will keep your interest throughout. Recommended for history buffs, Civil War buffs and of course, political junkies and Lincoln fans.
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  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    This historical thriller reads like fiction, except it is not. The Lincoln Conspiracy is definitely a work of non-fiction that grips the reader from the first short chapter or two and plunges them headlong into a complex conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln in March 1861, just before he's sworn in as the 16th president. Meltzer and Mensch provide all the clues, the context, and the players, and then let history unfold. There's no foreshadowing, the timeline is fairly straigh This historical thriller reads like fiction, except it is not. The Lincoln Conspiracy is definitely a work of non-fiction that grips the reader from the first short chapter or two and plunges them headlong into a complex conspiracy to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln in March 1861, just before he's sworn in as the 16th president. Meltzer and Mensch provide all the clues, the context, and the players, and then let history unfold. There's no foreshadowing, the timeline is fairly straightforward with a few digressions for historical background, and then, there's the attempted murder.Meltzer and Mensch use papers in the National Archives, at the Library of Congress, and the various Lincoln libraries. These provide the backbone of this book. When you finish, you'll know more about the politics that leads up to the Civil War, the social networks of the north and south, and the underlying reasons for the war that tears this country apart. More than that, you'll come away with a better understanding of the values and strength of Lincoln.The Pinkertons play an integral role in this historical event, a role that's dramatically different from how its company is viewed beginning in the 1880s.Dive into this headfirst, read the notes, and mine the bibliography. If you are a fan of Meltzer's historical fiction / thrillers, you won't be disappointed. The same can be said of history buffs.
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  • Dale Yates
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book on the beginning of the Lincoln presidency! Most are familiar with the assassination of President Lincoln ending his time in the White House. However, many are not as familiar with the assassination attempt on Mr. Lincoln in an effort to stop his presidency from becoming a reality. "The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President and Why It Failed" fills in this void very well. The book brings to light the events that occurred before and during Mr. Lincoln Excellent book on the beginning of the Lincoln presidency! Most are familiar with the assassination of President Lincoln ending his time in the White House. However, many are not as familiar with the assassination attempt on Mr. Lincoln in an effort to stop his presidency from becoming a reality. "The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America's 16th President and Why It Failed" fills in this void very well. The book brings to light the events that occurred before and during Mr. Lincoln's election to his first term, as well as the events between his election and inauguration. Included in this is a detailed account of actions of Allan Pinkerton and his team, as well as the conspirators who plotted to kill the President-Elect before he could take office. The final chapter is a wrap-up of the people and events after President Lincoln takes office. This book is an excellent read and provides many historical details that are not found in your average history book. I thoroughly recommend this book. Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaway and Flatiron Books for an honest, unbiased review.
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  • K2 Curry
    January 1, 1970
    What a great read! Although the ending chapters seemed to be more filler than follow-on history, which lowered my score a bit. But on to the greatness … the author(s) did an extraordinary job painting the picture of how fractured the young United States was at the time of Lincoln. It is eerily similar to present day partisan politics, with the parties reversed. Throughout the story, I gained more respect and appreciation for the 16th President from his upbringing to becoming president than ever What a great read! Although the ending chapters seemed to be more filler than follow-on history, which lowered my score a bit. But on to the greatness … the author(s) did an extraordinary job painting the picture of how fractured the young United States was at the time of Lincoln. It is eerily similar to present day partisan politics, with the parties reversed. Throughout the story, I gained more respect and appreciation for the 16th President from his upbringing to becoming president than ever before. I really appreciated his character and conviction, which made the reader understand the difficult decision involved in believing of an actual conspiracy to assassinate him and the actions to take or not take in response. The story is a fascinating description of how a confluence of factors came together to uncover this plot. I want to avoid any more possible spoilers, so I'll conclude with this being a great read, and in my case a pleasant break from the suspense novels I enjoy first and foremost. So read this if you're a history buff and/or want an interesting change of pace.
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    An eye opening narrative of a conspiracy that I had not read about before, nor learned about in school. It's a long book, but every detail is worth being included. The reader learns a lot about the man who was to become President (more than just having been born in a log cabin) and we learn about those he trusted, how he treated others, what his concerns were, his priorities, and his family life with Mary Todd.An interesting side note to today's history, but certainly quite significant in the as An eye opening narrative of a conspiracy that I had not read about before, nor learned about in school. It's a long book, but every detail is worth being included. The reader learns a lot about the man who was to become President (more than just having been born in a log cabin) and we learn about those he trusted, how he treated others, what his concerns were, his priorities, and his family life with Mary Todd.An interesting side note to today's history, but certainly quite significant in the assassination attempt being foiled, is that Pinkerton played a major role in ensuring that Abraham Lincoln lived to lead the country through a very tumultuous time. How the Pinkerton security and investigation company came to be is interesting, and knowing that Pinkerton played a significant role is quite a surprise.How different the country would have been had the plot not been discovered and stopped.
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  • Ernest Spoon
    January 1, 1970
    An exceptionally good book. Over 800 pages of text, not counting notes, and I breezed through it like a short novella. Abraham Lincoln is, I guess I have to admit, one of the few heroes of American history I have. It seems that as many Lincoln biographies and histories of the Civil War I read I always learn something new.I had touched upon Lincoln's traverse from one railroad depot to another through the streets of Baltimore but never in this detail. Can it be that the undercover surveillance ac An exceptionally good book. Over 800 pages of text, not counting notes, and I breezed through it like a short novella. Abraham Lincoln is, I guess I have to admit, one of the few heroes of American history I have. It seems that as many Lincoln biographies and histories of the Civil War I read I always learn something new.I had touched upon Lincoln's traverse from one railroad depot to another through the streets of Baltimore but never in this detail. Can it be that the undercover surveillance accomplished by Allan Pinkerton and his operatives in cracking the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln may have set the standard for spy tradecraft and police undercover operations in the future? Crackling with suspense with a touch of humor, mostly provided by Lincoln himself, this history is as entertaining as any of the detective novels I read over the past few years. Excellent.
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  • Kim Bakos
    January 1, 1970
    I always love reading something that teaches me something new about history. Lincoln is one of my favorite historical figures and I knew nothing of this plot to kill him until I read about it in a fiction story - Murder in the Lincoln White House. So I jumped at the chance to learn more when this book came out.Although this is a non-fiction book, it was so interesting and well-written that I read it as quickly as a fiction novel. I've never read an adult book by Brad Meltzer, but have given some I always love reading something that teaches me something new about history. Lincoln is one of my favorite historical figures and I knew nothing of this plot to kill him until I read about it in a fiction story - Murder in the Lincoln White House. So I jumped at the chance to learn more when this book came out.Although this is a non-fiction book, it was so interesting and well-written that I read it as quickly as a fiction novel. I've never read an adult book by Brad Meltzer, but have given some of his children's books to my granddaughter. His book for adults is as engaging as his books for children.
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  • Steven R. Netter
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved The Lincoln Conspiracy! It's a fantastic book that brings history alive & reads like a thriller. It has everything you could want - divisive politics with an unlikely candidate winning the presidency, secret societies brewing up conspiracies to assassinate the new president, undercover detectives trying to infiltrate the conspiracy to learn enough to thwart them, a midnight end around to deceive the would be conspirators and keep the president safe...all while civil war is one I absolutely loved The Lincoln Conspiracy! It's a fantastic book that brings history alive & reads like a thriller. It has everything you could want - divisive politics with an unlikely candidate winning the presidency, secret societies brewing up conspiracies to assassinate the new president, undercover detectives trying to infiltrate the conspiracy to learn enough to thwart them, a midnight end around to deceive the would be conspirators and keep the president safe...all while civil war is one trigger pull away. It's got all the elements of a great thriller, but this time it's all true! Brilliant work by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch. Highly recommend.
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  • Marisia Robus
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent! WOW! What a story. A history lesson of note and very interesting and captivating. It is amazing that not much has changed in politics, except for not beating each other with canes, but rather insulting on twitter now. I also found it amazing that Lincoln wasn't even on the Southern ballots, and still became President. The electoral college proved to be wrong in 1860, and still they haven't changed it as seen in 2016 . Stunning that lessons were not learned in the last 200 years.A stor Excellent! WOW! What a story. A history lesson of note and very interesting and captivating. It is amazing that not much has changed in politics, except for not beating each other with canes, but rather insulting on twitter now. I also found it amazing that Lincoln wasn't even on the Southern ballots, and still became President. The electoral college proved to be wrong in 1860, and still they haven't changed it as seen in 2016 . Stunning that lessons were not learned in the last 200 years.A story written by a master and narrated by a master. Scott Brick was exceptional as always.Great combination.
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  • Lee
    January 1, 1970
    In this time of reading titles I would not normally read, add this one. I found it a fascinating look at the time between the time Lincoln was elected and the time he took office. The story of how he tried to walk a middle line and the reaction of the slave holding states. I also found the similarities of a divided nation then and a divided nation now very scary. Over all a fairly decent read. I especially liked the history on the Pinkerton Detective Agency and their use of the first female P.I. In this time of reading titles I would not normally read, add this one. I found it a fascinating look at the time between the time Lincoln was elected and the time he took office. The story of how he tried to walk a middle line and the reaction of the slave holding states. I also found the similarities of a divided nation then and a divided nation now very scary. Over all a fairly decent read. I especially liked the history on the Pinkerton Detective Agency and their use of the first female P.I.s. Thought some of the history after the conspiracy was revealed and how it was overcome got a bit tedious.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this as much as The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, but it wasn't even close. I can't tell who the audience is supposed to be. Not YA readers, necessarily, but there was so much explanation about how the south depended on slavery it seemed as if we were supposed to never have heard of it. I remember some intense skimming when the George Washington book got slow and my problem this time was that an audiobook is much harder to skim. I wanted to like this as much as The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, but it wasn't even close. I can't tell who the audience is supposed to be. Not YA readers, necessarily, but there was so much explanation about how the south depended on slavery it seemed as if we were supposed to never have heard of it. I remember some intense skimming when the George Washington book got slow and my problem this time was that an audiobook is much harder to skim.
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  • Henk
    January 1, 1970
    Great book. To read this and learn of the previous attempt on President Lincoln’s life is a missing piece of history for our nation. I understand that the Civil War overshadowed this attempt but yet it was part of it as well (at least the states’ secession from the Union, and the hatred of a man that in no way deserved it).To also learn of the almost life-long grief that Lincoln lives through; and yet still is know as one of our greatest presidents shows the character and fortitude of a pure pat Great book. To read this and learn of the previous attempt on President Lincoln’s life is a missing piece of history for our nation. I understand that the Civil War overshadowed this attempt but yet it was part of it as well (at least the states’ secession from the Union, and the hatred of a man that in no way deserved it).To also learn of the almost life-long grief that Lincoln lives through; and yet still is know as one of our greatest presidents shows the character and fortitude of a pure patriot and statesman. I admire President Lincoln even more. Definitely worth a read if you love history and espionage. Definitely could be made into a great movie.
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  • Debra Jeakins
    January 1, 1970
    THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY BY BRAD MELTZER AND JOSH MENSCH outlines the secret plot to kill newly elected Abe Lincoln before he gets sworn into the presidency. An in depth look,not only at the plot to kill Lincoln, but gives the reader a look at Lincoln's early life but indepth look at the characters who are involved in the plot,Lincoln and his family and the very very young PINKERTONS detective agency. Mr.Meltzer and Mr Mensch have researched this small slice of history so well I felt like I was st THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY BY BRAD MELTZER AND JOSH MENSCH outlines the secret plot to kill newly elected Abe Lincoln before he gets sworn into the presidency. An in depth look,not only at the plot to kill Lincoln, but gives the reader a look at Lincoln's early life but indepth look at the characters who are involved in the plot,Lincoln and his family and the very very young PINKERTONS detective agency. Mr.Meltzer and Mr Mensch have researched this small slice of history so well I felt like I was standing right there,watching Lincoln/Pinkerton/ and yes even the men who sworn and met in secret to kill Lincoln before he could be sworn in. I highly recommend reading THE LINCOLN CONSPIRACY!
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