Fortunes Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth

Hardcover | March 25, 2015

byTerry Alford

not yet rated|write a review
With a single shot from a pistol small enough to conceal in his hand, John Wilkes Booth catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln stunned a nation that was just emerging from the chaos and calamity of the Civil War, and thepresident's untimely death altered the trajectory of postwar history. But to those who knew Booth, the event was even more shocking - for no one could have imagined that this fantastically gifted actor and well-liked man could commit such an atrocity. In Fortune's Fool, Terry Alford provides the first comprehensive look at the life of an enigmatic figure whose life has been overshadowed by his final, infamous act. Tracing Booth's story from his uncertain childhood in Maryland, characterized by a difficult relationship with his famous actorfather, to his successful acting career on stages across the country, Alford offers a nuanced picture of Booth as a public figure, performer, and deeply troubled man. Despite the fame and success that attended Booth's career - he was billed at one point as "the youngest star in the world" - he foundhimself consumed by the Confederate cause and the desire to help the South win its independence. Alford reveals the tormented path that led Booth to conclude, as the Confederacy collapsed in April 1865, that the only way to revive the South and punish the North for the war would be to murder Lincoln- whatever the cost to himself or others. The textured and compelling narrative gives new depth to the familiar events at Ford's Theater and the aftermath that followed, culminating in Booth's capture and death at the hands of Union soldiers. Based on original research into government archives, historical libraries, and family records, Fortune's Fool offers the definitive portrait of John Wilkes Booth.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.47 online
$32.95 list price (save 34%)
In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

With a single shot from a pistol small enough to conceal in his hand, John Wilkes Booth catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln stunned a nation that was just emerging from the chaos and calamity of the Civil War, and thepresident's untimely death altered the trajectory of ...

Terry Alford is Professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College. He is the author of Prince Among Slaves, which was made into a PBS documentary in 2007.

other books by Terry Alford

John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir
John Wilkes Booth: A Sister's Memoir

Paperback|Jun 1 1999

$32.91 online$39.06list price(save 15%)
Fundamentals of  Nanoscale Film Analysis
Fundamentals of Nanoscale Film Analysis

Paperback|Oct 29 2010

$141.95

see all books by Terry Alford
Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 25, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195054121

ISBN - 13:9780195054125

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Fortunes Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. "Kiss My Bumbelbee"2. The Muffin3. Lions and Foxes4. The Union As It Was5. Shining in the Rough6. Life's Fitful Fever7. A Band of Brothers8. The Fiery Furnace9. Come Weal or Woe10. This One Mad Act11. Exit Booth12. The Last DitchEpilogue A Green and Narrow BedNotes on SourcesAcknowledgmentsIndex