Lincoln: The Movie, The Man, The Politics

4 years ago

Speaking about the essence of his newest movie Lincoln, Spielberg said “I did not want to make a movie about a monument. I wanted the audience to get into the working process of the president.” 

The storyline focuses on the weeks following the president’s reelection in 1865, as he pushes through the 13th Amendment. It takes little imagination, or knowledge of history to understand that that the process was not an easy feat. Rounding up votes, and making deals is not something we usually associate with one of the most beloved historical figures. I can't help but wonder if after all the craziness and messy politics of the election is this something we want to see?

Photo by David James, SMPSP – © 2012 - DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC.

The road to progress is messy, and democratic politics have always been messy. Maybe a reflection on that time when the nation was so divided it led to death of some 750,000 people is what we all need.

Below are a few online resources if you want to learn more about the man, and the time he lived through.

Smithsonian: Two Hundred Years of Abraham Lincoln

In anticipation of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, we’ve compiled an interactive timeline with videos and links to Smithsonian articles about the life of our 16th president.

Smithsonian: Mr. Lincoln Goes to Hollywood  by Roy Bount Jr.

"What it takes to wrestle an epic presidency into a feature film."

Lincoln at 200

Lincoln at 200 is a collaborative project of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Chicago History Museum, and the Newberry Library. The Institute for Museum and Library Services has generously provided funding for this Web exhibition as part of a series of initiatives to commemorate the Lincoln bicentennial.

The Civil War in art

"The Civil War in Art: Teaching and Learning through Chicago Collections" is intended to help teachers and students learn about the Civil War—its causes and effects—and connect to the issues, events, and people of the era through works of art.

What do you think? Are you ready to see the political side of such an adored figure?

Tricia blogs at

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