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.