Right from the beginning it is obvious that this amazingly thorough book has been very carefully researched by the author, John C. Fazio, who formerly had a successful fifty year career practicing law.
His retirement has given John C. Fazio the time he needed to devote to writing this book on a subject for which he has had, for a long time, a great fascination, the American Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He looks in depth at not only the shooting of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, but the events surrounding it. Abraham Lincoln was watching a production of Our American Cousin, in the presidential box of the Ford Theatre on the 14th April, 1865 when he was shot. The following morning at 7.22 Abraham Lincoln died, one of the greatest men in American history had been murdered!
Being a student of history, and especially European and American history, with special emphasis on the Civil War, meant that he has accumulated an immense knowledge of the subject. He enjoys sharing this knowledge by teaching Civil War history at the Chautauqua Institution, writing numerous articles, and speaking about the subject. He is also a member, and former president of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable, and is active in the Lincoln Forum, the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cleveland Grays, and the Surratt Society.
There is so much mystery surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, that out of the 16,000 books which have been written about this great man, over a hundred are dedicated to solely to this subject. However, accounts, and details of it, and the events around it, are surrounded in enigmas, mystery, theories, and littered with errors, so much so, that the author decided it was time for him to write this thought provoking book.
It is forwarded by the well-known historian Joan L. Chaconas, and then the author gives the reader a thorough background on events which led to a nation torn apart by conflict, and Abraham Lincoln’s murder. Finally he concludes with the imprisonment, trial and sentencing of all but John H Surratt, of the assassination group.
This book makes absolutely riveting reading, and I would imagine that this would be of immense interest to anyone studying this period of American history, as the author provides plenty of notes and references in the back. For me personally, the icing on the cake is the fact that it is liberally sprinkled with terrific photographs, copies of hand written notes, drawings, and portraits, which I feel are very important in this type of book.
About the Author:
John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He now lives in Fairlawn (an Akron suburb) with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest. John joined Mary in retirement in 2015 after practicing law for fifty years. He is a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society. He teaches Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution, frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before Roundtables and other groups and has written and published numerous articles on the war and other subjects. In addition, he has written Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing. The book was released in January, 2016.
About the Book:
More than a hundred books have been written about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, yet one of the few certainties about his death is that little about it is certain. The literature on the subject is replete with errors, theories and guesswork. This comprehensive work on the assassination and on the attempted assassination of other Northern leaders in the closing days of the Civil War, seeks to correct major and minor errors in the record, reconcile differences of opinion of historians and scholars, offer explanations for great unknowns and make sense of conspiracy theories. After a Foreword by the renowned historian, Joan L. Chaconas, it begins with the background of the conflict, threats and assassination attempts against Lincoln, black flag warfare, the Wistar and Dahlgren-Kilpatrick Raids on Richmond and the Confederate response thereto, and it ends with the incarceration, trial and sentencing of the assassin’s action team (except for John H. Surratt, who would be tried separately in 1867, and except that one of those tried was not really a member of Booth’s team) and an in-depth analysis of conspiracy. In between are chapters on the underground mosaic; Booth and his co-conspirators; the great kidnapping myth that concealed the planned decapitation of the United States government; the setting for assassination; riddles, conundrums, enigmas and mysteries relating to key players in the drama; carnage in the presidential box; Booth’s descent to the stage, declamations, broken leg, exit and escape; attempted decapitation of the government; the death of the President; Edman Spangler’s innocence; the pursuit of the fugitives; and the death of Booth. The author rejects the simple conspiracy theory and affirms the Tidwell, Hall and Gaddy thesis of the complicity of the highest levels of the Confederate government and its Secret Service Bureau. The author makes use of hundreds of sources to justify his conclusions and to give greater cohesion to the record of the events of April 14, 1865. The book has received dozens of reviews. Among them: 1. “…a must read for Civil War historians and enthusiasts.”–William John Shepherd, America’s Civil War. 2. “Everyone should have this one on their Lincoln bookshelf.”–Joan Chaconas, The Surratt Society 3. “I found every page an adventure. You cannot come to a decision on who ordered the assassination without reading this book.”–Joseph Truglio, Civil War News 4. “…probably the best (book) on the market on the American Civil War.”–Amazon Customer 5. “…very strongly recommended…”–Michael J. Carson, Midwest Book Review 6. “A brilliant contribution…”–Frederick Hatch, author of Protecting President Lincoln and other works 7. “Long overdue. John Fazio’s lucid narrative puts Booth’s plan to decapitate the Union front and center…Decapitating the Union is both educational and entertaining…Give it five stars.”–Edward Steers, Jr., author of Blood on the Moon and other works 8. “If you enjoyed Ed Steers’s Blood on the Moon, you must read Decapitating the Union…”–Howard G. Anders, Jr. 9. “…perhaps the most (significant) work on this topic ever written.”–Amazon Customer
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