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The Legend Of John Wilkes Booth
01-31-2015, 12:30 PM (This post was last modified: 01-31-2015 12:40 PM by Gene C.)
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The Legend Of John Wilkes Booth
Full title, "The Legend of John Wilkes Booth - Myth, Memory & A Mummy"
Written by C Wyatt Evans in 2004, with about 220 pages of text.

I didn't care for it, but it's my own fault. I should have read the full book description better. From Amazon's description....

"Weaving a "vernacular intellectual history", Evans shows how the legend emerged from a tangle of cultural and historical events including white Americans' quest for a suitable racial pre-history, collective memories of the Civil War, and even incipient suspicions of conspiracy, since belief in Booth's escape automatically implied a government cover-up of Booth's capture and death. More than a sop to Confederate diehards for whom Booth's escape symbolized Southern vindication, the legend exemplified Americans' inability and unwillingness to enact closure over the tragedy of Lincoln's death.

The Legend of John Wilkes Booth is a compelling story of how collective memories and popular histories collide with, clash, and sometimes overcome mainstream accounts of the past. It offers an alternate venue for studying the workings of Civil War memory in American culture and demonstrates how (and why) culture produced at the grassroots level can challenge the official version of events. Through his meticulous account, Evans sheds new light on our complex attitudes toward heroes and villains, our need to mythologize tragedies, and our unwillingness to let go of myths, however absurd."

The book was well researched with about 30 pages of footnotes, but I was hoping this would be more of a history of the Booth Mummy, and it turned out to be more of a commentary of social and societal views of the assassination 40 years and more after the fact and using the Booth Mummy to explain them. The book did have some interesting points, but they were scattered throughout the book. I felt like I was reading someone's expanded college thesis. It was tiresome.

For more fun, read this thread from last year about comparisons of Booth to John St Helens

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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The Legend Of John Wilkes Booth - Gene C - 01-31-2015 12:30 PM

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