Books to Look For (April): History Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth by Scott Martelle (Chicago Review Press, 240 pages, April 1)

Martelle has given us the first full-length biography of this brave but troubled man who was part of the squadron that cornered Booth in a Virginia barn. An English immigrant dogged by poverty and mental illness, Corbett was also a proud Union soldier whose fame in helping kill Booth dissipated quickly once he moved West and his illness dragged him down. Promises to be a fascinating angle on the Lincoln assassination. Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History by Brian Fagan (Bloomsbury Press, 336 pages, April 14)

I think we all know how much influence animals (both wild and domestic) have over our lives. Here, Fagan explores our "intimate bond" through an analysis of six human-animal relationships, and discusses such topics as herding, donkeys and globalization, and horses and the fall of empires. (Maybe there's also something in here about why cats believe that they are our masters :-P )

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