Bill O’Reilly’s new bestselling book, “Killing Lincoln,” flunked by National Park Service Ford Theatre’s Rae Emerson as being “riddled with factual errors.”
Bill O’Reilly’s new bestselling book, “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever,” was recently flunked by Rae Emerson, deputy superintendent for the official National Park Service bookstore at Ford’s Theatre, who recommended that the bestseller not be sold at the historic site ‘because of the lack of documentation and the factual errors within the publication.’ Well, I guess Bill O’Reilly kept his word about not wanting to write another “boring history book,” but one interspersed with fiction, in what the Christian Science Monitor calls a “sensationalized, suggestive, and overly simplistic” tale of Lincoln’s life. In the tradition of Fox News’ long history of twisting the truth.
We received a copy of the audio book from Macmillan Audio in October. We found the book to be interesting, but sensational in its account of what led up to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. My 10 year old son listened along with me and it piqued his interest but therein lies the problem. I wanted him to learn more about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the historical context based on factual information, not half-truths, un-truths and sensationalism. I believe that if a book is on the top of the bestseller’s list and it’s not a work of fiction, then it should be truthful and factual, not riddled with factual errors. If there’s fiction, then I must concede that Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Lincoln” belongs under the title of fiction.
Here are some factual errors recounted by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard & refuted by Rae Emerson:
“The two warriors will never meet again.”
On April 10, 1865 Generals Lee and Grant met a second time at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. At that second meeting General Lee requested that his men be given evidence that they were paroled prisoners – to protect them from arrest or harassment. 28,231 parole passes were issued to Confederates.
Chapter 21, 27, etc.
“Grant meets with Lincoln in the Oval Office.”
“Lincoln sitting in his Oval Office . . .”
Oval Office built in 1909 during Taft’s administration.
“Booth’s second act of preparation that afternoon was using a pen knife to carve a very small peephole in the back wall of the state box. Now he looks through the hole to get a better view of the president.”
“Despite all attempts to prove, without success, that the hole in the door to box 7 was bored by Booth that same afternoon, a recent letter from Frank Ford of New York City (to Olszewski, April 13, 1962) may clarify the fact. In part, his letter states:
As I told you on your visit here in New York, I say again and unequivocally that John Wilkes Booth did not bore the hole in the door leading to the box President Lincoln occupied the night of the assassination, April 14, 1865 . . .
The hole was bored by my father, Harry Clay Ford, or rather on his orders, and was bored for the very simple reason it would allow the guard, on Parker, easy opportunity whenever he so desired to look into the box rather than to open the inner door to check on the presidential party . . .. Source: Salon
It should also be noted that Ellen Fitzpatrick, history professor at the University of New Hampshire,also criticized the book in a Washington Post review, saying, that there was “no credible evidence to support such an assertion” that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton “was involved in the plot to kill Lincoln, in the hope that he might ascend to the presidency.” I’m afraid Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard are the “pinheads” he loves to refer to on the “O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News Channel. It’s quite clear that Bill O’Reilly is no historian and should stick to his day job, instead of trying to confuse 10 years old kids like my son with a sensational account of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. It is a sad commentary that Bill O’Reilly’s book is banned from being sold at the very place where Abraham Lincoln was killed because it is nothing more than a sensational bore. Why am I not surprised that someone from Fox News is twisting the truth again……