THE LAST LINCOLNS: THE RISE AND FALL OF A GREAT AMERICAN FAMILY
A family divided cannot stand:
Most books about Abraham Lincoln end on April 14, 1865, the day he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. But that historic event takes place very close to the start of The Last Lincolns, a singular title in the vast output of Lincolnia and a groundbreaking book on the sixteenth president and his family. Going far beyond that fateful day into uncharted territory, it’s a gripping page-turner written by a TV producer with proven storytelling skills.
Like a dark and dramatic Gothic novel, Charles Lachman’s absorbing non-fiction American tragedy tells the largely unknown story of the discord, disgrace, and acrimony that consumed the Lincolns in the months, years, and decades that followed the president’s murder. This was not a family that came together in mourning and mutual sadness; instead, they fell out over the anguished mental condition of the widowed Mary Todd Lincoln, long known for her fragile state of mind. In 1875, Robert—the handsome but resentful eldest Lincoln child who detested life in the spotlight—engineered her arrest and forcible commitment to an insane asylum. In each succeeding generation, the Lincolns’ misfortunes multiplied, as a litany of alcohol abuse, squandered fortunes, burned family papers, and outright dissipation led to the downfall of this once-great family.
Lachman—who, as the executive producer of the TV newsmagazine program Inside Edition, knows how to capture an audience—brings the book right into the modern era, tracing the story to the last generation of Lincoln’s descendants, the great-grandson Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, whose squandered life ended in scandal and humiliation and a battle over possession of the vast Lincoln fortune. There’s even evidence—uncovered by Lachman—that the last surviving Lincoln’s chauffeur may have been the notorious outlaw and skyjacker, D. B. Cooper.
Published in advance of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday in February 2009, The Last Lincolns provides an unforgettable glimpse into the personal legacy left by the man who could unite a nation…but not his own family.
Family history revealed:
The D. B. Cooper connection:
The Last Lincolns makes the stunning revelation that the notorious skyjacker D. B. Cooper may have worked as a chauffeur for Abraham Lincoln’s great-grandson, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith.
On Thanksgiving Eve, November 24, 1971, D. B. Cooper, a Northwest Airlines passenger, skyjacked a Boeing 727 and parachuted out with $200,000 in extorted cash. D. B. Cooper has never been found. It remains one of the most famous unsolved crimes of the 20th century.
Read The Last Lincolns to find out why Jack Coffelt and D. B. Cooper could be the same man. And compare the FBI sketch of D. B. Cooper with this portrait of Jack Coffelt.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Lachman (http://charleslachman.com) is an American television producer and author.
Lachman is Executive Producer of the news magazine program "Inside Edition," based in New York City. The show has been on the air for more than two decades and is consistently in the top ten-rated programs in first-run national syndication.
Prior to joining "Inside Edition," Lachman served as co-Executive Producer of "American Journal" and Managing Editor of the nightly news broadcasts at WNYW-TV in New York City. He was also a reporter for the New York Post.
He is the author of the novel In the Name of the Law (1988), which Publishers Weekly called "scorching," and the widely acclaimed historical saga The Last Lincolns: The Rise & Fall of a Great American Family (2008). His most recent book is A Secret Life (2011), an investigative history of President Grover Cleveland. (http://asecretlifegrovercleveland.com)
Lachman is married to Nancy Glass, the television host and producer. He lives in New York City.
PRAISE FOR THE LAST LINCOLNS
“...a fascinating and well-researched family history that documents the traumatic impact of Lincoln’s assassination on his family and, the Lincoln legacy. A skilled storyteller, Lachman... paints an intimate portrait of Mary Lincoln, who never forgave her son Robert for sending her to a mental institution.”
“Important and engaging. . . . Charles Lachman has written an absorbing, well-researched account of the Lincoln family from their days as America’s first family to their twentieth century tribulations. A compelling story, The Last Lincolns definitively answers the question of what happened to members of the family after Lincoln’s assassination.”
“Charles Lachman has given us a spellbinding account of Abraham Lincoln’s family and descendants – right down to the last one, or so we think.”
“Who could imagine the Great Emancipator’s Family falling into scandal and disgrace so soon after his murder? Yet they did, as Charles Lachman chronicles in this intimate portrait of decline.”