Fates And Traitors: A Novel Of John Wilkes Booth By Jennifer Chiaverini-A Review

Fates and Traitors recreates the story of one of America’s most famous men-John Wilkes Booth-through a skillful portrayal of four women surrounding him. As we follow Mary Ann Booth (his mother), Asia Booth (his sister), Lucy Hale (the woman he courted), and Mary Surratt (his supporter and Confederate sympathizer), we come to know Booth himself as he grows to manhood, becomes an actor, and eventually assassinates President Lincoln. The book shows a man gripped by an obsessive fixation on Lincoln as a means of solving, on way or another, the problems faced by the South at the end of the Civil War. He deceives those he loves in the employment of the Cause, with the bitter and tragic result that history records.  A good read, especially for any of you Civil War buffs! (On a personal note: when I was an undergrad working my first library job, one of my co-workers was a descendant of Dr. Mudd. He was most insistent that Dr. Mudd was innocent and had treated Booth not knowing what he had done. Very interesting fellow.)

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