Looking At Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on Abraham Lincoln in a much-anticipated film. We’ll look at a new history of Honest Abe’s rise to power.

Daniel Day Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.

Daniel Day Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.

Abraham Lincoln never goes away as an American inspiration.  Next week, he’s back in the movies, as Daniel Day-Lewis – looking very monumental – plays the Great Emancipator in Steven Spielberg’s big new bio-pic.

But the making of Lincoln the man – long before his heights of war and greatness and tragedy – gets reduced to the lanky frontier rail-splitter, learning to read by a cabin’s firelight.  The real history is as rough as that, but much richer.  A horseback, courthouse career that taught Abe human nature – and his own.

This hour, On Point:  Abe Lincoln, the man – before greatness.

-Tom Ashbrook


Paul Dergarabedian, reporter and president of Hollywood-dot-com’s Box Office division.

Guy Fraker, author of Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit.


Check out our guest in the studios of WGLT. Nice Lincoln tie!

Lincoln scholar Guy Fraker in the studios of WGLT.

Lincoln scholar Guy Fraker in the studios of WGLT.

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS “And for fans of composer John Williams, who has collaborated with Spielberg on 25 films in more than 40 years, you can watch the two men at work, behind-the-scenes, on the film score of of “Lincoln,” which is set to be released in November.”

Hollywood Reporter “Day-Lewis, a two-time Oscar winner, was dressed in a sweater and jeans, not a longtailed coat and top hat, and he was clean shaven, but with the room having just screened the Steven Spielberg-directed film, the effect of having the actor, along with his director, on stage was jarring.”


Here’s the official Lincoln trailer.


Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.


“Old Folks at Home” by Stephen Foster

“The Union” by Louis Moreau Gottschalk

“I Wish I Was In Dixie” Traditional

“The Mississippi Steamboat’s In Sight” by Stephen Foster

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