Monday, November 14, 2011

Bill O'Reilly's New Book on Lincoln Banned at Ford's Theatre

Thomas DiLorenzo comments on the new book:
Quite a few people have emailed me begging me to critically review Bill O'Reilly's new book, Killing Lincoln, about the assassination. They do this not because they have read the book, which is a big, boring bag of nothingness, but because they've heard O'Reilly spout the neocon party line about "Father Abraham" on his television show and they smell a rat.

I've read the book, and it really is a big bunch of nothing. All it is is a narrative of the events leading up to the assassination. Over 100 books are already in print on the subject, and all O'Reilly and his coauthor do is cut and paste what others have written on the subject, but without including a single footnote! The authors also have the annoying habit of writing things like, "in his mind, he was thinking that . . . " as though they could know what Lincoln was thinking when he did this or that 150 years ago. This is a standard practice of the "Lincoln scholars," who also constantly claim to know what was "in his heart" (nothing but love and kindness, of course) in their writings.

There is nothing at all in O'Reilly's book about Lincoln's policies and behavior in office. There is nothing about his statist economic policies, his trashing of the Constitution by illegally suspending Habeas Corpus and mass arresting thousands of Northern political dissenters, his intentionally waging war on Southern civilians in violation of all moral and legal codes regarding warfare, his lifelong obsession with deporting all black people, free or slave, from America, etc. In addition, it is apparently so full of historical errors that it has been banned from the bookstore at Ford's Theater, the famous site of the assassination.
Here's WaPo on the inaccuracies:
Of all the places you’d expect to find Bill O’Reilly’s new history “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever,” Ford’s Theatre — the site of the dreadful act — should rank right at the top. But you’d do better to search for the bestseller on Amazon because it has been banned from the theater’s store...

For a purported history of the assassination — an “unsanitized and uncompromising ... no spin American story,” as the authors put it, “Killing Lincoln” is sloppy with the facts and slim on documentation, according to a study conducted by Rae Emerson, the deputy superintendent of Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, which is a unit of the National Park Service.

Other Lincoln experts also have sounded off. In a review published in the November issue of “North & South — The Official Magazine of the Civil War Society,” historian Edward Steers Jr. cites many instances where the book strays from documented history, then asks, “If the authors made mistakes in names, places, and events, what else did they get wrong? How can the reader rely on anything that appears in ‘Killing Lincoln’”?...

“Killing Lincoln” has no footnotes. An afterword on sources lists “books, websites, and other archived information” the authors consulted. But to Steers, the list is inadequate, leaving out important primary documents. “The authors have chosen to write a story based . . . [on] a few dozen secondary books that range from excellent to positively dreadful . . . [with] no vetting . . . treating them as equal,” Steers writes. Among the criteria that earn a book a place in the Ford’s Theatre store are that it is “historically accurate . . . has relevant citations [and uses] primary resources with documentation,” Emerson notes in her report.


  1. So, tell me now, is DiLorenzo's book on Lincoln for sale at the Ford Theater? And was it universally (or even occasionally) cited by Lincoln scholars for its accuracy?

    O'Reilly's book may be a joke, but so is this blog post.

  2. The only joke is the cult-like worship of a tyrannical, murdering Marfan dressed up in a stove-top hat.

  3. @Anon 9:34

    The real joke is the fact the war for Southern Independence killed closed to 700,000 men and maimed thousands only to set the stage for this country to evolve into just another pathetic socialist democracy and its citizens brainwashed by government schools to produce fools like yourself.

  4. I doubt DiLorenzo's two Lincoln books are available for sale at Ford Theater. Not for historical inaccuracy, but for being politically incorrect.