Congratulations are in order for James L. Swanson! He just received a starred review from Library Journal for his new book, Bloody Crimes!
*Swanson, James. Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse. Morrow. Oct. 2010. 448p. ISBN 9780061988479. $26.99.
Swanson, Edgar Award–winner for his best-selling Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, now brilliantly reveals how, when Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis each relinquished executive power in April 1865, one as a result of assassination and the other through military defeat, they set in motion two enduring myths—the legend of the Union's emancipating, secular saint and the South's cult of the Lost Cause. Lincoln's assassination, national mourning, and funeral pageant, and Davis's manhunt, imprisonment, exoneration, release, and long postwar life, insists Swanson, continue to unsettle Civil War and Reconstruction historiography, not to mention American society, to this very day. Despite an artful job of portraying the rebel president of the Confederate States of America in a benign light, Swanson concludes that the 20th and 21st centuries belong to Lincoln, not Davis, whose legacy of favoring sectionalism and slavery has been lost through time, much as his beloved Beauvoir plantation was swept away during the Katrina disaster of 2005.
Verdict: Swanson successfully fuses the strengths of historical integrity, balance, and masterful prose into one compelling work. Bloody Crimes should be required reading for every American.
Job well done James! Keep that star shining bright!