Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

January 15, 2013

Plot to Assassinate Lincoln on Eve of Civil War Is Subject of Book Discussion

In February 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a "clear and fully matured" threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield, Ill., to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of 13 days, the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.

Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar0award-winning author, uncovers the riveting true story of the "Baltimore Plot," an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War, in "The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War" (St. Martin’s Press, 2013).

Stashower will discuss and sign his book on Thursday, Feb. 7, at noon in Dining Room A, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This Books & Beyond event, sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

As Lincoln’s train rolled inexorably toward "the seat of danger," Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisers, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out, Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln’s life – and the future of the nation – on a "perilous feint" that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy and, later, mired in controversy, the story of the "Baltimore Plot" is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.

Daniel Stashower is an acclaimed biographer and narrative historian. He is the winner of the Edgar, Agatha and Anthony awards and the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, AARP: The Magazine and National Geographic Traveler, as well as other publications.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.

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PR 13-007
01/15/13
ISSN 0731-3527

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