Looking for Lincoln
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From the cover: "As host Henry Louis Gates, Jr (aka Skip) travels around the county from Gettysurg PA, to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., he encounters a menagerie of characters who live with Lincoln every day, from re-enactors to relic hunters, as well as those for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion. Among them: Pulitzer Prize winners Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner [the new LINCOLN movie is partly based on her 2005 book and Tony worked on it's script]; also Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, and interesting comments by Presidents G. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, among others.
The two-hour program shows how the Lincoln legend grew out of controversy, hurt feelings, greed, love, anger, politics, power struggles and disagreement over how our 16th president should be remembered." For example, the visit to N. Carolina's annual Sons of Confederate Vets convention where one guy said Lincoln was a war criminal and should have gone on trial and hung, and another guy was asked if Lincoln did anything positive, the reply was: hmm - that's a tough one...
Lincoln was a self-taught, complicated man and a great politician. He never liked slavery but his views on it did evolve. The summer of 1862, when the war wasn't going well for the Union, Lincoln decided to cripple the south's economy by ending slavery.Read more ›
While the documentary is somewhat delicate in its interpretation of Lincoln it does not shy away from describing him as a man firmly rooted in the prejudices of his era. His early beliefs about the inferiority of African Americans in no way gels with the Great Emancipator image that grew up around him. But a man renowned for his great resolve in restoring the Union proved he could adapt his views. It is in his authorship of the Emancipation Proclamation (which has been argued was more political than practical) to his support of the 13th Amendment where the light of greatness begins to shine in him. Frederick Douglass an early critic of Lincoln who once described him as "the white man's president," would later write in his memoirs that, "Mr. Lincoln was not only a great president, but a great man - too great to be small in anything."
The best thing I can say about "Looking for Lincoln" is that it stimulates discussion about Lincoln's legacy. One of the reasons I believe Lincoln is so popular in our culture is that he came from humble origins and rose up through hard work and ambition to attain the pinnacle of power.Read more ›
Skip Gates certainly wants to present as many viewpoints as possible. If you have read much about Lincoln there won't be much new here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learner a lot. Loved the video. Was not boring. Wish for more like this. Need 5 more words so if your a Lincoln fan watch it.Published on September 27, 2013 by Amazon Customer
LOOKING FOR LINCOLN (PBS, 2009, 120 minutes in 2 parts) is Professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates, Jr., at his finest. Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by Hui Shen ben Israel
The book "Looking for Lincoln" begins with his assassination and chronicles his impact on the 60 years that followed. Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by Sharon G. Blazek
The book, Looking for Lincoln, is fascinating. But Henry Louis Gates's pseudo-intellectual show that's an attempt to cash in on the book is lowbrow at best. Read morePublished on June 11, 2009 by No Lemming