A Finger In Lincoln's Brain: What Modern Science Reveals About Lincoln, His Assassination, And Its Aftermath, E. Lawrence Abel, Praeger an imprint of ABC-CLIO, 270 pp., 18 b/w illustration, bibliographic end notes, bibliography, index, $48.00.
CWL: E. Lawrence Abel brings his professional training in psychology and
anatomy to a comprehensive examination of the Lincoln assassination.
His arguments deal with the sciences of ballistics, disease, human
behavior. Very well written in an accessible style. Myths and
misunderstandings are explored and explained. Very likely to be the
touchstone for all past and future considerations of the Lincoln
From the Publisher: In this book, E.
Lawrence Abel sheds much-needed light on the fascinating details
surrounding the death of Abraham Lincoln, including John Wilkes Booth's
illness that turned him into an assassin, the medical treatment the
president is alleged to have received after he was shot, and the
significance of his funeral for the American public.
The author provides
an in-depth analysis of the science behind the assassination, a
discussion of the medical care Lincoln received at the time he was shot
and the treatment he would have received if he were shot today, and the
impact of his death on his contemporaries and the American public.
book examines Lincoln's fatalism and his unbridled ambition in terms of
empirical psychological science rather than the fanciful
psychoanalytical explanations that often characterize Lincoln
psychohistories. The medical chapters challenge the long-standing
description of Lincoln's last hours and examine the debate about whether
Lincoln's doctors inadvertently doomed him.
CWL: You suggest that Booth's shot was a 'lucky one.' With Booth so close to Lincoln, how could Booth have missed his target?