They took the most memorable photographs of the Civil War. Now their long rivalry was about to climax with the spilled blood of an American president--an event that would usher in a new age of modern media.
Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner were the new media moguls of their day. With their photographs they brought the Civil War -- and all of its terrible suffering -- into Northern living rooms. By the end of the war, they were locked in fierce competition.
And when the biggest story of the century happened--the assassination of Abraham Lincoln--their paparazzi-like competition intensified. Brady, nearly blind and hoping to rekindle his wartime photographic magic, and Gardner, his former understudy, raced against each other to the theater where Lincoln was shot, to the autopsy table where Booth was identified, and to the gallows where the conspirators were hanged. Whoever could take the most sensational -- or ghastly -- photograph would achieve lasting camera-lens fame.
Compelling and riveting, Shooting Lincoln tells the astonishing, behind-the-photographs story of these two media pioneers who raced to "shoot" the late president and the condemned conspirators. The photos they took electrified the country, fed America's growing appetite for tabloid-style sensationalism in the news, and built the media we know today.
About the Author
Nicholas J.C. Pistor is a former reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a former consultant for CBS's 48 Hours true-crime series. He's appeared on numerous television news networks, including NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. His previous book, The Ax Murders of Saxtown: The Unsolved Crime That Terrorized a Town and Shocked a Nation, was cited by the Kansas City Star as one of its "Best Books of 2014." Pistor lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
"Shooting Lincoln is a fascinating look at a war within a war, when two rival photographers battled to chronicle the Civil War. Nicholas Pistor's gripping saga carries the reader onto battlefields and alongside the hangman's noose while chronicling the birth of modern photojournalism. A fascinating read that sharpens our focus on how much that war remains relevant today."--Scott McGaugh, author of the New York Times bestseller Surgeon in Blue: Jonathan Letterman, the Civil War Doctor Who Pioneered Battlefield Care
"Nicholas Pistor has written an engaging account of Civil War-era photographers Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner and the birth of American news photography. Pistor's riveting narrative of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and its aftermath is by itself well worth the read."--Joseph Wheelan, author of Terrible Swift Sword and Their Last Full Measure
"A remarkable history of Civil War era journalism."—Midwest Book Review
"A gripping read...[written with] urgency and flair."—Wall Street Journal
"An engaging read."—Washington Independent Review of Books
"Pistor makes a convincing case that the efforts of Brady and Gardner consciously and often heroically documented history."—Santa Fe New Mexican