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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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  • 1Brett1

    His rise to power is most impressive; it’s a wonder he found the time to make his mark on the political scene, especially since he was busy hunting vampires and all…

    • DrewInGeorgia

       and zombies. lol

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3OZN5GBMDBBS3ZCKCOUF62ZOFU chad carlson

    I only hope that the film captures Lincoln’s hallmark characteristics–his prudence, and his humor. Looks like Lewis’s performance accurately captures the look of Lincoln, but not so much the voice, which was high pitched with a pronounced Kentucky twain.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    One aspect of Lincoln is a characteristic that every American needs:  a yearning for education.  He was poor, but he read books and taught himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1255833802 Christine Benecke

    Thaddeus Stevens wore a wig because he had alopecia (I think).  I used to work with the president of the Thaddeus Stevens Society in Gettysburg.  Someone should do a GOOD movie on the astonishing career of Stevens — from his origins to what he did for the state of Pennsylvania and the nation – free public education; the abolishing of slavery, and widening enfranchisement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Daniel Day-Lewis is my favorite screen actor of ALL time! He transforms into the characters he chooses to portray, leaving no traces of his own ego in the act. I’m really looking forward to viewing this film.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      In The Name of The Father is some of his best work, I also really look forward to an opportunity to see this film.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    Daniel Day-Lewis is amazing and will stay amazing since i saw him in the last of the mohegans.

    I have no doubt he’ll win another oscar.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I hope the film also looks at how severely racist (in the REAL definition of a racist!) Lincoln was despite liberating the slaves.  “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.” Lincoln

    • Wahoo_wa

      Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858  Three years before his presidency.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       His primary concern throughout the war was to preserve the Union.  Look at the good that he did, especially considering the period in which he did it before judging him from a modern perspective.

      • Wahoo_wa

        Not judging him, just pointing out that Lincoln was, in fact, a racist.  Unlike Jefferson who believed all men were created equal despite the fact he owned slaves.  It’s important to keep our national figures in the truest light, and understand them for who they were and not who we wish them to be.

        • adks12020

          I can’t believe you are going to say that Jefferson wasn’t racist. He owned other people. He, and most white people of his time, was in fact a racist.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Owning other people is not part of the definition of racism.

          • adks12020

            Semantics. If you feel like you can buy and sell people or a certain race, tell them what to do, what to eat, where to live, and not pay them a dime then you think you are better than them.  If you only do those things to that once race of people then you are a racist.

            Jefferson, and the other founders, thought all WHITE men were equal.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Not necessarily.  Many slave owners believed that because of the black man’s position in society, that they, the owners of slaves, were helping them in an oddly paternalistic way through ownership.  Let me be clear, I am not condoning, nor do I believe in racism or slavery.

          • E_PluribusUnum

            I see your point but I think it’s tough to argue that slavery, particularly as it was manifested in the USA, was not racist. And even if you do, you would have a hard time convincing me that it still isn’t a greater evil. And finally, while I agree that Lincoln held many deeply racist views, I also feel that he understood the role of government in addressing a institutional evil like slavery, and that a gov’t cannot legislate the hearts and minds of racist men. That sort of social change, while no less important, cannot come from government action.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Very fair points.  Thanks for engaging the topic!

    • adks12020

      In today’s world Lincoln’s views would likely label him a racist. However, if you compare Lincolns views on race and slavery to those that were prominent during his day he was on the more progressive side of things. In speeches like the one you reference (the whole speech is available here… http://www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/debate4.htm ) he certainly needed to say the right things so as not to scare the white people all over this country away. Whites in the north and the south were racists.  The big difference at the time was even racist northerners were much more likely to be willing to live and let live….as Lincoln was. He was very much against slavery and that gave him the support of prominent blacks like Frederick Douglass.  You need to think of it in the context of the times.

      • Wahoo_wa

        One can be racist without believing a race should be enslaved.  Racism is defined as a belief that one race is superior to another.  That is clearly expressed in the quote.

        • adks12020

          I agree.  I guess my point is that if I were a black person at the time I would rather have a racist say he would leave me alone and let me live my life than have him keep me in bondage.

          The vast majority of the white people of that time period felt whites were superior to blacks. Many of them, however, didn’t feel that meant blacks should be slaves. Lincoln was one of those people.

          I’m not condoning his remarks but you are making it seem like that was odd for the time when it was, in fact, the norm.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Oh I totally agree.  I am not arguing the context of his racism, I am just presenting it as part of the man’s character.  The intention is to broaden the understanding of the man and combat the myth of the man. 


    Could you comment on the similarities between Obama and Lincoln’s experience or inexperience before ascending to the Presidency? Two years of congressional experience, the state legislature, a legal practice and some political activism on Lincoln’s side, I believe? Or was that Obama? Why does this not create some cognitive dissonance among Republicans?


    Could you comment on the similarities between Obama and Lincoln’s political experience or inexperience before ascending to the Presidency? Two years of congressional experience, the state legislature, a legal practice and some political activism on Lincoln’s side, I believe? Or was that Obama? Not to suggest that they went through the same pains but… Why does this not create some cognitive dissonance among Republicans?

  • commonman49

    It is pretty sad and pathetic that Tom can get all giddy over this book and completely ignore (for months) Bill O’Rielly’s best selling “Killing Lincoln”.  Just shows the true bias of NPR, and they wonder why over 50% of voters want to cut public funding to NPR programming.

    • d_hinchen

       I imagine this is in part because Mr. O’Reilly’s book was shown to include numerous glaring inaccuracies and was thus not regarded well as a true history of the man, but more of a very long op-ed piece.

      • commonman49

        ah, a true liberal, who of course shows no proof of his opinion. You haven’t read the book obviously.

        • d_hinchen

          You are correct in your assumption that I have not read the book, partially why I said “I imagine.” When the reviews appeared though, I took the word of people like, for instance, a curator at the Ford’s Theater Museum who directly refuted claims made in the book. Also, much like his liberal counterparts, I feel like O’Reilly is a sensationalist that is not really worth listening to. 

          • commonman49

            Typical of a liberal to dismiss any conversative view as “sensationalist”, ignorant, biased, etc. without offering any proof.  Such narrow-mindedness is why this country is in the mess it is in.

          • Ray in VT

            Does this article contain enough proof for you?


            There are a number of errors in the book, and some historians have taken exception to that.  That having been said, it’s not like Bill O’Reilly is David Barton or anything.  He made some mistakes in his book, and those things should have been caught and corrected in the editing process.

          • d_hinchen

            Please notice that I said “much like his liberal counterparts.” It is not only the conservatives but that type of media, in general.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7LBWKUHA34UL53CBBTXNFC77M4 Mary

    I read a terrific book this summer: Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason.  How he learned to organize his thoughts and produce his wonderful speeches and letters.  Riding the Illinois legal circuit with Euclid in his saddlebag.  I look forward to reading Fraker’s book.

  • maccoole

    I can’t wait for the movie.

  • d_hinchen

    Several years ago I read a book called “Lincoln’s Melancholy” by Joshua Shenk. The guest mentioned Lincoln’s ability to relate to people publicly but to not reveal his private self. Can he please comment on the possibility that this ability stems from depression, or melancholy, as it was called then. Thank you!

  • commonman49

    It is sad and pathetic that Tom can get all giddy over this book and yet completely ignore (for months) Bill O’Reilly’s best seller (“Killing Lincoln”). Just shows the bias of NPR programming, and yet they wonder why at least half the voters of America want to cut public funding for NPR. Be fair Tom.

    • KCIRM

      Bill O’Reilly works for an organization that according to  most observers is very bias, an organization that is anathema to what decent journalism should be and you want tom to be excited over a book by Bill O’Reilly. Are you for real? When it comes to federal funding NPR can certainly function whithout it and believe me my friend those of us who are used to intelligent, informative, thoughtful and respectful debate will step up to the plate and compensate for any shortfall.

      • commonman49

        So NPR is biased also, as you seem to admit. Of course programming that reinforces our own opinions is always “intelligent, informative, thoughtful”…etc.   Who are these “most observers” who claim O’Reilly is biased? NPR’s staff I suppose?
        I know you will respond that ratings are meaningless (unless they apply to Obama) but look at the number of viewers/listeners watching Fox/ O’Reilly compared to those listening to Tom. Guess all these people are simply “ignorant conversatives”. 

        • KCIRM

          The good ratings that Fox seem to enjoy show the sad state of our country where a significant number of people can be classified as vastly uninformed and unneducated (whether they hold a college degree or not). You seem to live in a cocoon where “intelligence” emanates only from the Fox network and talkradio (The Savage nation, Rush Limbaugh etc). My friend, you should listen to NPR more often, make it a daily ritual and you’ll be amazed at the transformation because you will realize that the right has demonized mainstream media unnecessarily, at NPR you will be exposed to all point of views, you will travel to the four corners of the world and understand the fears and participate in the joys of our brothers and sisters from across the globe. I understand and I accept that you will dismiss me as a liberal as if it’s an insult or a disease, but I will say to you that I hold the liberal banner proudly: as a liberal I hold no hatred in my heart, you are my brother and if given the opportunity to the extent that I can I will protect you from any harm. Would you be willing to do the same for me?

          • commonman49

            Of course anyone who disagrees with a liberal is uninformed and uneducated. How do we poor ole conservatives survive without our dear vastly superior liberals? I hold no hatred either, but I do think I am a bit more tolerant than most liberals. If you don’t agree with them, then of course you just are ignorant or uninformed. Please listen to “Tell Me More” and especially “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know” this week and honestly tell me NPR programming isn’t biased. 99.9% of Michael’s “jokes” are aimed at Republicans. It gets old after a while.  Ask Tom Ashbrook or Michel Martin to declare their voting record. You certainly can’t be “informed” if you don’t see the Leftist leanings of NPR programming. (I would hope to try and protect anyone in harm’s way.)

          • Tyranipocrit

             excuse me but dont you think you have enough republican view points on commercial tv–fox, cnn, cbs, nce, abc–all of em.  NPR might, might lean a little to the left–if you think education and reson is left–but actually its too balanced–they dont go far enough to the left–always trying to make the uneducated happy.  Yes–you are aboultely right–republican viewpoints are uneducated, irrational, kneee jerk emotional reactiony politics.

            the right is emotional–childlike.  The left is of the mind–rational and empthatic.  we dont need a riciculous bible to guide out thoughts, our opinions, or or morals.  by the way the bible is the most immoral unethical craetion made by HUMAn-kind.

            You hit the nail on th ehead.  i wish it wasnt tru.  But it si.  The right is ignorant and brainwashed by the lying rich.  its a fact.

            And no all “liberals” what ever that means–a republican label.  As if being tolerant is  abad thing–but i speak with many of these sinful evil liberals who disagree with me and would never say the things i say–though they understand what i am saying.  That is why most “liberals always bend the knee and sacrifice principles to the bullying right–they dont have the balls to stand up and be men.  Thats why im hated–i am progressive that talks like a republican–its time we got more progressives willing to say–shut up and sit down.  Children need discipline.  We need to stop spoiling the rich and ignorant, and tell them NO.  its for your own good.  And when you grow up you will thank us. 

            i would never treat my children like that but id ont have to–they were treated with kindness and reason from the beginning teaching the m empathy and reason and making them sharper than a tack.  But dealing with republicans is like dealing with unruly neurotic spoiled bullying, hurt, abused children–they need a firm hand.

            I wish it wasnt like that.  i wish i could ignore your comment and continue civil conversation–but we aint gonna take–wea aint gonna take it anymoer.  We let republican notions rule the world for too long–generations and we are up poop creek!

          • commonman49

            Why do you keep declaring that all republicans are ignorant and rich? I don’t think I am either one, but would love to be rich I suppose. Sad that those who disagree with you are always simply labeled “ignorant” or whatever.  Oh well… 

          • Duras

            If you are not rich, then why are you voting for a smaller social security check and bigger medicare co-pay, in order to give the top another tax break and spend even more money on the military (where government is actually bloated).

          • Duras

            You do realize that comedians for years and years have roundly made fun of republicans.  If liberals opened themselves up to sarcasm, comedians would make fun of them as well.  Clinton was the last to be made fun of, but he was a somewhat good president.  


          • commonman49

            Talk about narrow minded… there are plenty of comedians making fun of democrats..you just never hear them. You don’t think al sharpton, biden, hillary, jesse jackson, etc. etc. don’t provide conservative media with a lot of material…?! Get out of your cave and turn on some conservative radio just for a little fun. But of course you just ignored my main point, which is of course NPR leans heavily to the Left… for whatever reason and for whatever good or evil. It is just a fact that most recognize.

          • Duras

            “NPR leans heavily to the left.”  Sometimes reality isn’t on your side.  In the 1970s, when government had tons more regulations, labor unions were powerful, and we had high taxes on the top, I would say that reality favored suppy side economics.  Today, the conditions are the opposite, taxes are low on the top, wage ratios are the same as right before the Great Depression, and we’ve learned are lesson yet again about too much deregulation.  I would say that reality supports liberal arguments right now. 

            I would just get over it if I were you.  The New Yorker recently full heartedly endorsed Obama, and the New Yorker is well-known for its ironclad fact checking.  Sorry, but conditions can go too far to the right, and basically after 30 years of republicanism, they are too far to the right.

          • Tyranipocrit

             conservative comedy is racist comedy–its not by accident you mentioned so many black leaders. 

          • commonman49

            All conservative comedy is racist? Ouch. I mentioned two blacks, and two whites. Equal treatment.

        • Duras

          Reality isn’t fair nor balanced.  You need to look at journalism not through the scope of “fair and balance” but if the journalism is empirical, observational, has non-persuasive writing, limited adjectives and adverbs, and it comparative not declaritive. 

          Get it?  

          P.S., Roger Alies was the optics director for the Nixon Administration and now runs Fox News.  It’s obvious Fox News and MSNBC are propaganda arms.  CNN is dumbed down.  PBS and NPR are some of the last intellectual havens left in America.  Curiously enough, there has been a lot of dumbing down America since the 1980s.  Let this institution go and watch the Kardashians if you want to.

          • commonman49

            I don’t deny that the news media are biased. Just admit that NPR is also. They lean very far to the left. Even the “comedy” shows on NPR stations always start with a string of jokes aimed mostly at Republicans, with “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?” being the worst.  Michel Martin on “Tell Me More” consistently bashes the conservative viewpoint. Do you really listen to these programs? No one can honestly say NPR is not biased toward the left. (Just ask Tom A. or Michel M. to show you their voting history.) Like I said, it is only because you agree with NPR that you are immune to the barbs. “Car Talk” and “The People’s Pharmacy” are the only two shows without bias. And yes, I agree that America is “dumbing down”. Why else would we elect an Obama/Biden ticket to lead us? Wow.

          • Tyranipocrit

             NO.  They are not far to the left.  They are central.  Disgustingly central.  We dont have a left media in america–its all to the right, conservative light, and conservative heavy, and conservative extreme.

            independent radio is left.  Local radio stations athat get no sponsors and say like it is.  KBoo has brillinat programming.  Its not always as technically professional as NPR but it is far more left and far more intelligent and fair.  The left is not bais–it just makes sense and it is not tainted by conservative machismo.

          • Duras

            I’ll add to what you said by saying that News Papers in this country use to carry a Labor Section.  Now there are only Business Sections. 

            If the mass media market is leaning anywhere, it is to the right.  But this country is so far to the right – speaking from a historical and global perspective – that a lot of logical arguments seem “far left.”

          • Duras

            “Lean very far to the left…”  You do realize the possibility current liberal opinion corresponds best to reality right now, right?  

            And it’s not because I agree with NPR, that I like NPR.  I have a Master of Rhetoric and Composition, and I can tell you that NPR’s and PBS’s empirical methods are better than any major medium news outlet. 

            For example, last month CNN reported that medium income fell while poverty leveled off.  NPR also reported that top income increased.  Was that liberal bias?  Fox News sure ain’t reporting what top income is doing.  But reporting it is merely objective journalism. 

            Moreover, journalism that reports on what ‘appears’ to be doesn’t exist on NPR, but it is the norm on Fox and MSNBC.  It doesn’t appear that man is causing global warming; the scientific community has settled that man is causing global warming.  For example.  I’m tired of conservatives coming on these threads and crying liberal bias without debunking NPR journalism.  I can debunk Fox News all day, and CNN at times. 

            And America started dumbing down in the 1980s curiously enough.  Which is adventagous for the republican party since their electorate is made of old white people and non-educated white people.  Educated white people support Obama.  Pretty interesting if you ask me.  But it makes sense, since republicans create meaningless wedge issues to get the majority of the South to vote against their own economic interests. 

    • littleladymyfoot

       Do you know of any other books that concentrate on Lincoln’s circuit riding day?….There are many, however, about his death. As an Illinois hillbilly with lots of Andrew Jackson democrat ancestors, I am looking forward to reading this book!

    • amyeps

      We’ve turned into a nation of paranoid partisans. Why not simply appreciate the interview for its own merit as a fascinating experience? I’ve seen the O’Reilly/Dugard book promoted everywhere, but I might not have learned about. Mr. Fraker’s book without listening to On Point, and I imagine that’s the case for many people. I think O’Reilly, Dugard, and Fraker would all enjoy conversing about Lincoln with each other, and how wonderful that there’s still such passion about this American president and, evidently, still so much to learn about, and from, him.

      • commonman49

        I take issue with the “sneering manner” comment, and also that I made “knee-jerk” reaction responses, but have to agree with the rest of your comments. We all have biases, and those who work for the media tend to let theirs show through at times, some more than others. I hope Tom sees your suggestion and brings O’Reilly,Dugard, and Fraker together. Would be very interesting. I will be shocked to ever hear O’Reilly on NPR though… (oops, sneering again!, sorry). 

  • adks12020

    That’s a pretty bad argument. Jefferson obviously didn’t think all men were equal or he wouldn’t have owned slaves; he thought all white men were equal. If I were a black person at the time I’d take the “live and let live” with people thinking less of me but not being slaves over being a slave any day.

    • Wahoo_wa

      He stated all men were CREATED equal leaving open the fact that life circumstances define social position.  It was true then and it’s true now sadly.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/3OZN5GBMDBBS3ZCKCOUF62ZOFU chad carlson

      As Lincoln made clear in the Gettysburg Address, the phrase “all men created equal” was a “proposition” not a decree. Jefferson said slavery was like having a wolf by the ears–we can neither hold on, or safely let go.

  • maccoole

    We have a family story that a great-great grandfather did not like a calendar that had a picture of Lincoln that was hanging on the wall and shot it off the wall. I grew up in a small town in West Virginia that was being occupied by both the Union and Confederate troops. The community was divided, with even some brothers fighting each other. The first Union soldier to be killed in the Civil War was killed in Grafton, my hometown. This movie is stoking me to learn more about Lincoln. 

  • joe m

    What was Lincoln’s relationship to John Brown?

  • GKoenig

    There is more to consider in Lincoln’s world.  The population of the United States was only 31,443,321 a mere 1/10th of what it is now.  For energy, there was no electricity, so light was from candles, oil lamps or gas (in the cities).  For transportation there was horse drawn vehicles and the steam engine railroad, as well as steamboat and sailing ships.  A steam train would typically only travel 100 miles in a day.  It had to stop for maintenance (there was a lot to lubricate, adjust, etc., all by hand).  There were of course no automobiles, and no air travel.  The street railway (in cities) was horse drawn (later to become the electric trolley car).  For communication, there was the telegraph and photography, which was very, very new.  There were printing presses, but type was set by hand and there were no typewriters, so all personal communication, bookkeeping, etc. was hand written in pencil or ink.  Photographs did not appear in newspapers (the illustrations were hand drawn) and were not yet sent over wires.  There was no telephone, no radio, no television, internet, or other electronic communication besides the telegraph.  The fastest way to send a message was the telegraph or between hilltops by flashing mirrors in code.  Letters were delivered by hand, horse drawn vehicle, steam train or boat.  Construction of buildings was by hand tools only, there were no power tools, save for the saw mill, powered by water or steam. On farms, horse and human labor were used; steam tractors did not come into use until after the Civil War.

  • Cdfrancis Pham

    I am sceptical to see this movie  bc most of the time hollywood tends to ‘over do’ a certain issue from AL’s life.  while growing up the only association i had w/AL was emanciation of slaves.  i enjoy history, esp. American History,  i know, the primary concern was the the preservation of the union ,almost at all cost. 
    as i read, AL was willing to consider putting all the slaves & shipping them back as a solution to slavery. i believe influencing AL ‘s decision was not only its the ‘right thing to do’ (2nd), but to add to the number of solders fighting for the north for the preservation of the Union.
       i hold AL as one of my fav.,perhaps 2nd only  G.Wash’n, bc he exemplified the amer. spirit,determination,humility, etc.. in addition to   struggles of a man w/the America at that time. I mostly admire ,& love AL, bc he is a testament of a man whom fought everything ‘thrown’ at him, including ‘depression’,son’s death, wife’s uustableness, uncertainity,etc..,that AL fought for what he believed to be the greatness of this country…the freedom to succeed (as the freedom of failure),the freedom to do what is in one’s power to ensure that success (BELIEF) & held  steadfast to that BELIEF.

    nevertheless, i ‘probably’ will see the movie. at least to sit bac & enjoy the acting.

  • 228929292AABBB

    I saw the movie already and it’s fantastic.  The way he kills all the vampires and stuff, he really was a great President.  And BAM!  with that axe!  Best President ever.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, an Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming by Bruce Chadwick is another great book about Lincoln that I read a few months ago.  This book focuses on Lincoln’s campaign  for the Republican nomination and then election as President in 1860.  It reveals that Lincoln always had deep rooted opposition to slavery. When campaigning for the general election he had to temper expression of his views to pull together a coalition of voters in the Northern states that would allow him to win the election.  He anticipated correctly that he would not receive a single Southern state vote.  Lincoln made clear that he would seek to contain slavery to where it existed effectively dooming it in the long term as more free states joined the Union.  That made Southern session and the Civil War inevitable. 

  • TinaWrites

    I’m sorry, but my tone is not going to be very sweet.

    Guest Paul complains that the movie might be a “little too costumey”.  What?!  Do all movies have to have the scene where the protagonists run thru a strip joint?! — the minimum costume, to say the least.

    Doesn’t Paul remember Spielberg’s rivetting costume movies about the past and its themes that still resound today:  Amistad, The Color Purple, Saving Private Ryan, just to name a few? 

    And, how does “a little over the top” help us “see” the movie and understand its themes?  Movie reviewing should be as solid as literary reviewing, please, please, please!

    • Emily Sanborn

      Although I can’t remember his exact phrasing, I believe he said this was his initial worry, but the movie proved to be pretty awesome.

      Agreed, movie reviewing isn’t comparable to literary reviewing, but often the two seek different ends.

  • Pingback: Looking At Lincoln | On Point with Tom Ashbrook | The Lincoln Movies

  • seabeau

    I suggest you all read,”The Real Lincoln”!

  • seabeau

    Please excuse me,”The Real Lincoln”, by Thomas DiLorenzo! For the real history of the Great Tyrant!

  • JobExperience

    Mike Daisey would be my first choice to portray any American President, now that Grady Lee Howard is dead.
    Daniel Lewis Day? And I thought it was veterans’s day.

  • JobExperience

    The scene in “CSA” (Kevin Willmott 2004) where Lincoln attempts to flee into Canada assisted by Harriet Tubman is my alltime favorite. 

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 16, 2014
From "Rich Hill"

“Rich Hill,” a new documentary on growing up poor, now, in rural America. The dreams and the desperation.

Sep 16, 2014
Jasmin Torres helps classmate Brianna Rameles with a worksheet at the Diloreto Magnet School in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday Feb. 22, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)

More parents are “red-shirting” their children in kindergarten—holding them back for a year, hoping they’ll have an edge. Does it work? We look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

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Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

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Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

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