Sunday New York Times Book Review, front page
‘Mourning Lincoln’ and ‘Lincoln’s Body’
By JILL LEPORE, FEB. 4, 2015
"Hodes, a professor of history at New York University, offers a darker account. “The Civil War was a revolutionary war, and Lincoln’s assassination complicated its ending,” she argues. Reading thousands of diaries and letters written by ordinary Americans in the days and weeks after Lincoln’s death, she finds little evidence of national unity in the face of tragedy; instead, she finds shock, jubilation, confusion and, above all, disagreement. In Washington, secessionists draped their houses in black crepe, not out of grief over Lincoln’s death, but out of fear. “Hurrah!” one 17-year-old South Carolina girl wrote in her diary. “Old Abe Lincoln has been assassinated!” In Virginia, a 5- or 6-year-old freed boy asked, when he heard the news, “Have I got to go back to massas?”
... Mourning Lincoln” is a close and deeply disturbing study of...