Robert Redford’s latest offering as a movie director, The Conspirator opens across the country on April 15, which is the 146th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The movie encompasses the trial of four accused conspirators including Mary Surratt. The publicity surrounding the release of this film, which I intend to see, caused my immediate recall of Jay Winik’s fabulous 2001 book April 1865, The Month That Saved America.
Winik’s insightful analysis of what really happened during that last month of the Civil War and following Lincoln’s assassination is frightening. He writes in detail of what occurred as the country fell into chaos and how a few statesman turned to the United States Constitution to maintain order and establish a transition not only of the presidency but for the country itself.
Whether you read April 1865 in conjunction with the movie or separately it is most worthy of the time of all who have a passion for American History.