Looking for Lincoln
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The series will dissect the myths that have grown up around Abraham Lincoln, and in doing so, will address outstanding questions surrounding him questions about race, equality, religion, depression, and sexuality by carefully interpreting the evidence provided by people who actually knew him.
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Well researched and presented.
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. And through all that he still indulged in the whims of his children and loved a good joke. In that view we can see ourselves mirrored in the image of Lincoln. Love him or hate him this documentary is worth a couple hours of your time. It may not change the way you feel about him but it may help you understand WHY you feel the way you do.