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by Larry Starkey, copyright 1976 with 189 pages. He had a bachelors degree in history and political science. This is the only book he wrote, he passed away in 2011.

Fairly interesting. Starkey believed it was Booths original intention to escape by rail to Canada (with the assistance of John Surratt) but due to breaking his leg, had to escape to the south.

Not always taking the more conventional viewpoint of the assassination by most historians , he had this to say about John Surratt,
"The government gambled that the linking element - embodied in the form of the twenty-three -year-old secret courier who had left Davis and Benjamin in early April for Montreal to communicate with Booth during the three days before the murder - would present himself before the trials end, if only to save the life of his mother. Perhaps if Stanton and Holt had known him better they would have realized it was a pointless gamble - a man doesn't survive for three years as a spy behind the enemy's lines by nurturing his softness"

I don't think it's a must have book, but it is a good, nice to have book.
You can find a very affordable copy on Amazon for less than $3.00

http://www.amazon.com/Wilkes-Booth-Washi...839&sr=1-1

http://www.robynbradley.com/goodbye-larr...1942-2011/
(03-12-2015 08:56 PM)Gene C Wrote: [ -> ]Not always taking the more conventional viewpoint of the assassination by most historians

I agree, Gene. I read it so long ago that what you say is what sticks most in my mind. Lots of differences between Starkey's book and the "traditional story." I remember Starkey maintained that Parker never left his post and allowed Booth to enter the box once he determined Booth's identity. I cannot think of many assassination books that say Parker never left his post. I think Starkey also argued that Booth committed suicide in Garrett's barn.
I agree....I do have the book and read it about 40 years ago! It has some controversial info - but interesting. One error in Starkey's book via Gene's post -

"The government gambled that the linking element - embodied in the form of the twenty-three -year-old secret courier who had left Davis and Benjamin in early April for Montreal to communicate with Booth during the three days before the murder - would present himself before the trials end, if only to save the life of his mother. Perhaps if Stanton and Holt had known him better they would have realized it was a pointless gamble - a man doesn't survive for three years as a spy behind the enemy's lines by nurturing his softness"

John Surratt was only 20 years old at the time of the assassination. He was a week older than Lew Powell - his birthday was April 13, 1844; Powell's April 22, 1844.....
I also read Starkey's work many moons ago when it first came out and was amazed at some of his assumptions, speculations, whatever. I know that several in the field sort of jumped on his bandwagon and added some of his theories to their own semi-fictional work later. For those well-versed in the assassination, reading this book makes for an interesting sidebar - not an eye-opening experience.
Hmmm, the book does sound an interesting read as both theories (north escape and suicide) have been discussed on the forum, and there were advocates on either sides. Does the author argue "his case" well? Is the book readable, or does one have to fight one's way through it?
This is a don't miss book. I have read it several times and I recommend his analysis of how Booth was intending to go North to meet Surratt at the Canadian border, complete with train times and statement from Kentucky Derby race trainers of how his horse could have made it to Relay Station via a loop through Surrattsville. A lot of this appears in my Last Confed Heroes in one form or another. I probably ought to cut that last sentence as it might drive off potential readers of Starkey's book.
Eva - the book is an easy read and enjoyable, IMO.
Eva, he doesn't go into too much detail, it's certainly not boring. He also didn't change my opinion on anything, he didn't convince me of anything I was undecided about, but he makes a few interesting points. His comments and reasoning are not outlandish or bizare. It is thought provoking at times. It would not be in my top ten of assassination books, but it is not a waste of money. I agree with what Laurie said in post #4 & #7.
Many thanks, Bill, Laurie and Gene, very helpful replies - I just purchased the book!
I find the idea that a healthy Booth intended a head fake south and then board a train and head north in relative comfort most attractive. No doubt he would be disguised and assume some persona but the egocentric ham actor in him would find such a prospect irresistible.

If JWB had escaped, could he have tolerated a life of anonymity? A person who would shoot the President of the United States in a crowded theater,bellow theatrical justifications to the audience,leap to the stage and make a dramatic escape, was not a candidate to live the rest of his life as a hermit in the Canadian wilderness,the Mexican countryside or Enid,Oklahoma.

It was said of Lawrence of Arabia that after WW1 he sought to lead a life of "flamboyant obscurity." Joining the RAF as a private under an assumed name-with everyone knowing who he was-but once going AWOL to have a private lunch with the Air Force Chief of Staff to discuss defense policy might have been too tame for Booth.

Under my scenario,JWB might have escaped to Canada,flung off his disguise and been shocked and dismayed when he was thrown in jail and deported to the US for trial.
Tom
No, I don't see JWB settling for a life of anonymity in the event of an escape either. On the fateful evening, didn't he tell someone in Taltavul's tavern that he would be the most famous man in America soon?

Even in exile, he would have wanted it known by all that it was he, JWB, who had "put through" the tyrant Lincoln.
(03-13-2015 09:52 PM)LincolnToddFan Wrote: [ -> ]On the fateful evening, didn't he tell someone in Taltavul's tavern that he would be the most famous man in America soon?

You are so right, Toia. Many books state that while in Taltavul's Booth said something like, "When I leave the stage, I will be the most famous man in America." However, over the years, I have searched in vain for an original source for that. In my own mind I have considered Booth's statement more legend than fact. Can anyone point me to a legitimate source for Booth's statement?
Hi Roger, I am almost certain I saw the quote in Michael Kauffman's "American Brutus". But it's late here and I am a little tipsy from drinking wine all evening.

I will see if I can source the quote later today.
Thank you, Toia!
Way in the back of my mind I seem to recall it might have been William Withers who may have made this claim. Did Withers ever say he was in Taltavul's at the same time Booth was drinking in there?
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