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Lincoln, A Steven Spielberg Film: A Cinematic and Historical Companion (Disney Editions Deluxe (Film)) Hardcover – January 22, 2013

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About the Author

David Rubel has made a career of bringing history alive for readers of all ages. Recognized nationally as an author, speaker, and historian, David has written sixteen books and edited a dozen more during his twenty-five years in publishing. Most of these titles focus on making American history accessible to a broad audience. Working with many of the country's finest historians-including Pulitzer Prize winners Joseph J. Ellis and James M. McPherson and Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein-David has created enduring books that make first-rate scholarship understandable and compelling.


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Product Details

  • Series: Disney Editions Deluxe (Film)
  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Disney (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423181999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423181996
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Jensen on January 22, 2013
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First, the positive. The book itself is beautiful. Classy dust jacket, and nicely textured boards underneath for the binding. On the cover, "Lincoln" is lightly imprinted though not embossed in any different color, thus preserving a more professional feel. Pages are printed on thicker paper and there is no shortage of beautiful photographs. Indeed, virtually every page has one or two photographs or illustrations, if not more. At over 200 pages, the quality of this book is apparent in its size and presentation. A top notch publication.

Now, about the content of those 200 pages. The book is divided into four sections:

Part One--Players on the Stage of History, pages 15-52. This section includes photographs of the more prominent characters in the film, both of the character as portrayed in the film and of the character's actual portrait. Very brief treatments, about one page of text and one of photos. Text is all historical, with no discussion of the approach to bringing that character to life in the film.

Part Two--The Road to the Thirteenth Amendment, pages 53-140. The longest of the four sections, it is the one that was most disappointing, though only because it seemed too long. This section could be printed completely independent of this volume and both would be excellent books. The history is presented without any direct reference or link to events in the film. While it does provide excellent historical background and context to the film, my expectations for this book were that more would be presented directly linking these historical events to the process of producing the movie.

Part Three--Filming Lincoln, pages 141-176. This section was unique, and caught me off guard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2013
Over the years, various films have been publicized through 'making-of' volumes that trace the development, production and impact of a particular flick. Usually illustrated with tons of production stills, such books run the gamut from fluff pieces to insightful tomes. David Rubel's coffee-table guide to Spielberg's 2012 Lincoln biopic is similar to yet different from those film guides.

First off, Rubel's book is a tasteful, well-illustrated and often fascinating account of the making of Spielberg's film. Three of the book's four sections, focusing on the film itself, bookend the text. They present the actors that played various historical figures, detail how the movie was filmed, etc. The remaining section is a fairly lengthy summary of Civil War slavery and the passage of the 13th Amendment.

Given most filmgoers' limited knowledge of the 13th Amendment, it was probably incumbent on Rubel to include some historical background. Frankly, I would have preferred less history and more production detail, especially additional commentary from Daniel Day-Lewis and reminiscences from Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Bruce McGill, etc.

In any case, movie buffs will enjoy LINCOLN, A STEVEN SPIELBERG FILM. It offers an informative look at a fine motion picture. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on February 13, 2013
If you have not as of yet seen the movie "Lincoln" I would encourage you to do so. It is an amazing accomplishment, possibly the best movie on American history ever produced. This book is issued as the companion to the movie, and it is coffee table size. Open almost any page and you see full color stills from the movie, in addition to a mini biography of sorts of the last few months of Lincoln's life, which is the period covered by the movie. Some of the photos of the actual historical persons are included, and when they are put on the same page as the pictures of the actors who played them in the movie, the resemblance of quite a few of them is amazing!

The production crew went out of their way in actor recruitment for relative accuracy, even though most folks will have no idea what some of the minor players looked like back then. I was particularly struck by the actor who played Alexander Stevens, the vice-president of the Confederacy. The actual Stevens was a very short man with a sickly countenance, and the actor who portrayed him was almost a mirror image, right down to the lack of height! Also, the horse on which Robert E. Lee rode was the same color as his actual horse. They could have put any horse in there because, really, only rabid history buffs such as myself would have noticed!

Members of the cast and crew explain many aspects of the filming, from having the locations chosen, to the makeup, hairstyles, clothing, and the gathering of props in the background of many scenes which were authentic mid 19th century things. Once again, accuracy to portray how people and things looked a century and a half ago, even though people in our time would not really notice some things, such as the wallpaper in Lincoln's office matched the actual wallpaper he had.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lamar A. Savage on January 25, 2013
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"Companion" books have become quite popular in recent years - books written specifically as companions to films, documentaries or mini-series'. Just as with any other sub-genre, they can vary in quality, depending on the amount of effort and care and creativity taken with each. I've purchased quite a few, especially ones connected to the work of documentarian Ken Burns - but this one is far and away the best I've ever seen! In all seriousness, I recommend that people see the film first - in an actual movie theater - and then make sure that you buy this book! It will be the most read book to ever rest on your coffee table - the organization, the layout, the photography, dozens of keenly interesting quotes from interviews with everyone connected with the masterful film - and lots of historical information make this a must purchase as far as I'm concerned - but again - see the film first - you will not regret it!!
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