The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth

The Madman and the Assassin The Strange Life of Boston Corbett the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth Union cavalryman Boston Corbett became a national celebrity after killing John Wilkes Booth but as details of his odd personality became known he also became the object of derision Over time he was

  • Title: The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth
  • Author: Scott Martelle
  • ISBN: 9781613730188
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Union cavalryman Boston Corbett became a national celebrity after killing John Wilkes Booth, but as details of his odd personality became known, he also became the object of derision Over time, he was largely forgotten to history, a minor character in the final act of Booth s tumultuous life And yet Corbett led a fascinating life of his own, a tragic saga that weaved thrUnion cavalryman Boston Corbett became a national celebrity after killing John Wilkes Booth, but as details of his odd personality became known, he also became the object of derision Over time, he was largely forgotten to history, a minor character in the final act of Booth s tumultuous life And yet Corbett led a fascinating life of his own, a tragic saga that weaved through the monumental events of nineteenth century America Corbett was an English immigrant and devout Christian who long struggled not only with poverty but also with mental illness, which was likely caused by the mercury he used in his job as a silk hat finisher He was one of the first volunteers to join the US Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, a path that would in time land him in the notorious Andersonville prison camp Eventually released, he ended up in the squadron that cornered Lincoln s assassin in a Virginia barn After the war, he headed west as a homesteader to the plains of Kansas, where his shaky mental health led to his undoing The Madman and the Assassin is the first full length biography of Boston Corbett, a man thrust into the spotlight during a national news event and into an unwelcome transformation from anonymity to fame, and back to obscurity.

    • Ô The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth || Í PDF Read by ↠ Scott Martelle
      486 Scott Martelle
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      Posted by:Scott Martelle
      Published :2019-05-24T08:21:47+00:00

    About "Scott Martelle"

    1. Scott Martelle

      A veteran journalist and member of the Los Angeles Times editorial board, Martelle also writes books primarily about overlooked people and events from history His newest is The Madman and the Assassin The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth Previous works include The Admiral and the Ambassador One Man s Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones Detroit A Biography 2012 , about the rise and tremendous fall of a once great American city The Fear Within Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial 2011 , about the first of the Cold War era Smith Act anti communist trials, and Blood Passion The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West 2007 , about a coal strike that left than 75 people dead in showdowns between miners and the Colorado state militia that didn t end until the U.S Army was sent in as peacekeepersMartelle s journalism and book reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Sierra Magazine, Los Angeles magazine, Orange Coast magazine and other outlets He has taught journalism and writing at Chapman University and the University of California Irvine, and is a regular panelist or moderator at literary, journalism and labor history conferences, guest lecturer at colleges, and has been featured on C SPAN s Book TV.Martelle also is a co founder of The Journalism Shop, a group of freelance journalists.

    560 thoughts on “The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth”

    1. 3.5 starsInteresting life story of the man who shot the man who shot President Lincoln.Also one of this year's Kansas Notable Books.


    2. I think I may be the only non civil war historian who exclaimed "OMG someone wrote a book about Boston Corbett!". I learned about him in the book Manhunt, about the search for John Wilkes Booth, and he definitely stood out as an eccentric character. This book is fantastic even though you mightn't know much about Corbett's role in the search for John Wilkes Booth. A summary of the search for him and the trial of the conspirators is nicely summarized. This book is a testament to great research and [...]


    3. Looking forward to seeing what you all think of the story of this fascinating figure from the Civil War and Lincoln assassination


    4. It should have been a week of triumph and celebration. It should have allowed a nation, so long enduring death and war, to have a chance to breathe. But in the days following news of General Lee’s surrender to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, the celebrating in Washington, D.C. and the North of news of the approaching end of the U.S. Civil War ended abruptly into a return to tragedy and mourning. On the night of April 15, 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln as he sat [...]


    5. Boston Corbett was definitely an interesting individual in life from what I read. I only knew him at the point when I picked up the book as Lincoln's Avenger but reading this book gave me a lot of new insight to who he was prior to the Civil War and who he was after he shot Booth. This as I have called it Historical Autobiography was a really interesting read and a read for any who want to learn more about the man who would be known as Lincoln's Avenger.


    6. This appears to be the first attempt at a comprehensive biography of "the man who avenged Lincoln". I found from Martelle's account that apparently much of what I had previously read about Corbett is almost certainly wrong (e.g the claim that he attempted a "mass shooting" of the House of Representatives, which seems to be made up out of whole cloth. But he did turn up in odd places in Civil War history, including Andersonville. A recreation of the life of a forgotten man.


    7. This book isn't terrible, but if you already know the history, it becomes a work of skipping pages to find something new.


    8. An interesting account of a strange but pious man who was thrust into fame because of one thing he did. I liked it.



    9. INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE.“Sergeant Boston Corbett was mad as a hatter.” (Kindle Locations 135-136).Writer Scott Martelle recently hosted a panel discussion, at the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, that I was lucky enough to have attended. When he mentioned, almost in passing, that he had written a book about a madman, an assasin, and the Civil War… he got my attention.That book is, The Madman and the Assasin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Bo [...]


    10. A gripping account of the religious zealot who killed John Wilkes Booth and spent most of his life, pre and post fame, battling crippling mental illness and the physical after shocks of imprisonment in Andersonville prison camp during the civil war.Corbett spent most of his life either trying to avoid the infamy the act of shooting Lincoln's assassin brought him ( he faced death threats from southerners and their supporters for most of his life)or using that fame to try to help him gain his mili [...]


    11. I won a copy of this book from FirstReads. I think like most Americans that I knew John Wilkes Booth fled after killing President Lincoln and after a while was killed in a barn. The man that pulled the trigger was the subject of this book. There is a bit of outside story like the details of the assassination, but mainly this is a biography of an unknown figure in a well known tale. This book is narrative history in style, but not riveting reading. It is engaging, but not enthralling. There are [...]


    12. I read this in honor of of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln. I've always wondered about Boston Corbett. The only view I've ever ever read of him is that he killed Wilkes Booth and was considered a religious nut. (He castrated himself to avoid temptation). Scott Martelle has done a masterful amount of research to present a much more nuanced study of a complicated man. I don't think there is any doubt that he was compassionate (his good works, especially as a prisoner at Andersonville) speak for t [...]


    13. This book was kind of interesting, it just felt like there wasn't much to the story. As the author states, Corbett was a pretty ordinary man for the times, so there really wasn't much to say about him other than explore his religious eccentricities and his disappearance. The disappearance is the more interesting to me but what can you say about an unknown story? Aside from the assassination tale, there isn't much of a story here, but it was interesting to learn about a person involved in the act [...]


    14. I received this book via .I really enjoyed this book. Although I'm not a passionate reader about the American Civil War (ok, War Between the States LOL), I do have an interest in history and always am willing to learn.To me, Author Scott Martelle had a difficult task in tracking down historical facts about Boston Corbett, the subject of this book. The research included background of Corbett, including his life before shooting Booth. Although well known in his time, Martelle remains a footnote in [...]


    15. The best thing about this book is that I knew absolutely nothing about Boston Corbett, the Union soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth in that barn in Virginia, not even his name. I believe self-edification is its own reward, so I felt suitably remunerated for reading this. Maybe some day the Trivial Pursuit gods will smile upon me for it. However, it wasn't a thrilling read; the facts are presently very dryly and blandly, with no sense of pacing or tension. It's very much a "just the facts, ma'a [...]


    16. I was interested in this book because I feel like Lincoln and Booth have been done a million times, but this was focused on a unique character who has been somewhat forgotten. The problem is that while interesting at times, there just isn't enough here to justify a full book. He needed to add a few chapters on Booth and the assassination just to get it over 200 pages, and this was done by citing much better works. It was a quick read and decent, and credit for trying something different, but not [...]


    17. A very weird little man, who would of been destined to an even more obscure life than he had. He brushed up against history as the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. If you are a reader of history and life in the Civil War era you will enjoy the book. I was especially interested in his brief career as a door man to the Kansas legislature which ended with Mr. Corbett chasing members of the Kansas legislature through the building with a loaded gun. He then spent time in the Kansas State Hospital be [...]


    18. Informative and well-written account of the weird life of Boston Corbett, the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. I read this book in conjunction with research for my 2nd book, Tears from a Stone, which I hope to finish by next year. Quirky and unusual, the man found himself at Andersonville Prison and then later assigned to the Army unit responsible for tracking down John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of President Lincoln.


    19. Certainly a strange fellow, of who I knew almost nothing but for the brief mentions he gets in other Civil War histories. The beginning go his life, and certainly the end, are intriguing. It's hard to fault the chapters dealing with the Booth plot, but as someone who has read about it in other books, it offers little in the way of new information, except perhaps Doctor Mudd. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the era.


    20. A bit of an eccentric character whose lasting fame is to shoot the assassin of Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth. Corbett seems to interact with the social history of the US in a fairly representative manner but if not for that purely coincidental shooting in a Virginia barn -- why bother write the story.


    21. Boston Corbett? Who knew ? He was the soldier who shot John Wilkes Booth. Enjoyable, well researched read.Good story based on little known facts about the search for Booth, land grants, mental illness and the ordinary person. Love the civil war era. Recommend.


    22. Although I was bored by some facts and lost track of names periodically, I liked this book. It never occurred to me to be curious about who killed Booth; he was just the man who shot Lincoln. Boston Corbett' s story was much more interesting than I would have thought.


    23. This was an interesting book about a nutjob who killed the guy who killed Lincoln. I especially liked how they tracked him for 20 odd years after the killing as he tried to survive the post war United States.


    24. Amazing chase. Even more amazing how many details have been uncovered to report this follow up to the assassination of Lincoln!



    25. This book was very very interesting because it told about this guy who killed John Wilkes Booth and why he did it was kind of crazy.


    26. 3.5 stars. Martelle does about as good a job with Corbett as anyone could, given the limited source material.


    27. A well written book that I enjoyed. What a shame that the man Boston Corbett fell out of sight of the public for his small part in history.


    28. Very interesting for the first half but became a bit tedious, finally getting more interesting for the last parts. Overall, worth reading for the historical value.


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