Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  James L Swanson  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Young Adult; Children;

Born: February 12 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Swanson was born in Chicago on Lincoln's birthday and attended The University of Chicago where he was a student of Illinois author, John Hope Franklin.

Biographical and Professional Information

James L. Swanson is the New York Times bestselling author of ''Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer.'' A former senior fellow in constitutional studies and former editor-in-chief of the ''Cato Supreme Court Review''. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the UCLA School of Law, he was a member of the law review and recipient of a moot court distinguished advocate award. He served as assistant to Chairman Susan Liebeler at the U.S. International Trade Commission, clerked for Douglas H. Ginsburg, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and was a special assistant in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice, where he worked on Supreme Court nominations. He is the founding and current editor of the ''First Amendment Law Handbook'', an annual volume on recent developments in constitutional law and freedom of speech. He has written articles on intellectual property, the First Amendment, and other topics, and his work has appeared in the ''Chicago Tribune'', the ''Los Angeles Times'', ''American Heritage'', and other newspapers and magazines. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and serves on the Advisory Committee of the National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Published Works

  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.) , Harper Perennial , 2007
  • Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse, William Morrow, 2010
  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer , Scholastic Press, 2009
  • Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis , Collins, 2010
  • Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution , Harper Perennial , 2008
  • The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Scholastic, 2013
  • End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, William Morrow, 2013
  • Chasing King's Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Assassin, Scholastic, 2018

Selected Titles At Your Library

Manhunt :
ISBN: 0060518502. OCLC Number:

William Morrow,. New York :. ©2006.

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror. A Confederate sympathizer and a member of a celebrated acting family, John Wilkes Booth threw away his fame and wealth for a chance to avenge the South's defeat. Based on rare archival materials, obscure trial transcripts, and Lincoln's own blood relics, this book is a fully documented work, but it is also a tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal, an hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters.--From publisher description.

Bloody crimes :
ISBN: 0061233781. OCLC Number:

. .

"New York Times"--Bestselling author of "Manhunt" returns to the Civil War era to tell the epic story of the search for Jefferson Davis and the eventful funeral procession for assassinated president Abraham Lincoln.

Chasing Lincoln's killer /
ISBN: 0439903548. OCLC Number:

. .

"This story is true. All the characters are real and were alive during the great manhunt of April 1865. Their words are authentic and come from original sources: letters, manuscripts, trial transcripts, newspapers, government reports, pamphlets, books and other documents. What happened in Washington, D.C., that spring, and in the swamps and rivers, forests and fields of Maryland and Virginia during the next twelve days, is far too incredible to have been made up." So begins this story of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth and gives a day-by-day account of the wild chase to find this killer and his accomplices. Based on James Swanson's adult book Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, this young people's version is a look at the assassination of a president, and shows readers Abraham Lincoln the man, the father, the husband, the friend, and how his death impacted those closest to him.

Bloody times :
ISBN: 0061560898. OCLC Number:

Collins,. New York :. ©2011.

On the morning of April 2, 1865, Jefferson Davis received a telegram from General Robert E. Lee. There is no more time--the Yankees are coming, it warned. That night Davis fled Richmond, setting off an intense manhunt for the Confederate president. Two weeks later, President Lincoln was assassinated, and the nation was convinced that Davis was involved in the conspiracy that led to the crime. Lincoln's murder, autopsy, and White House funeral transfixed the nation. His final journey began when soldiers placed his corpse aboard a special train that would carry him home to Springfield, Illinois. It was the most magnificent funeral pageant in American history.

Lincoln's assassins :
ISBN: 0061237620. OCLC Number:

W. Morrow,. New York :. 2006.

Traces the 1865 military trial of eight people accused of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln and other high officials.

"The President has been shot" :
ISBN: 0545490073. OCLC Number:

. .

Recounts the 35th president's assassination and details key events while sharing informative back matter and archival photographs.

End of days :
ISBN: 0062083481. OCLC Number:

. .

Presents a complete account of the day Kennedy was killed, following the event hour-by-hour, from the Kennedys' arrival in Texas through the shooting in Dealey Plaza to the shocking aftermath.

Chasing King's killer :
ISBN: 0545723337. OCLC Number:

. .

"James Earl Ray and Martin Luther King, Jr. had two very different life journeys -- but their paths fatally collide when Ray assassinates the world-renown civil rights leader. This book provides an inside look into both of their lives, the history of the time, and a blow-by-blow examination of the assassination and its aftermath."--Provided by publisher.



Speaking Engagements

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