Saturday, November 24, 2012


Anyone who likes history, or the operations of politics in a democracy, or has even a little regard for Abraham Lincoln, will greatly enjoy this movie.

PS: this NYT pieceSteven Spielberg, Historian by Philip Zelikow,

Having worked before at the intersection of Hollywood and history, helping a tiny bit with a respectable movie about the Cuban missile crisis called “Thirteen Days,” I approached the new movie “Lincoln” with measured expectations. I had seen how a film could immerse viewers in onscreen time travel without messing up the history too much. But that was the most I hoped for.

“Lincoln,” however, accomplishes a far more challenging objective: its speculations actually advance the way historians will consider this subject.

The movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president, makes two especially interesting historical arguments.

....The first is to explain why the passage of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, was overwhelmingly important to Lincoln in January 1865.  .... {The second explains the course of the secret negotiations to end the war.}