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Lincoln


  • Originally published 04/08/2014

    Doris Kearns Goodwin: Lincoln was sexy

    “If I didn’t believe Abraham Lincoln could win today, I might as well give up. OK, shave the beard and get rid of the stovepipe hat. But I think he was actually sexy.”

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Manisha Sinha: Lincoln Again

    Manisha Sinha is a professor of Afro-American studies and history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of “The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina” and the forthcoming “The Slave’s Cause: Abolition and the Origins of America’s Interracial Democracy.”The “Lincoln industry,” through which Abraham Lincoln has become the most-written about American, used to be confined to historians and other writers. But between the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth in 2009 and the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation in 2013, a period during which the nation’s first black President continuously paid homage to the sixteenth President, Lincoln has come to reign unchallenged in popular culture too, nowhere more so than in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln,  which was considered by many an Oscar favorite. Perhaps historical criticism has proven to be a kiss of death for the film’s chances.

  • Originally published 02/25/2013

    Jim Cullen: With Lincoln, A New Frontier for Day-Lewis

    Jim Cullen is chairman of the history department at the Fieldston School in New York and author of "Sensing the Past: Hollywood Stars and Historical Visions" (Oxford University Press).(CNN) -- If, as many observers believe, Daniel-Day Lewis wins the Academy Award for best actor on Sunday, he will become the first man to win three (Meryl Streep has done this; Maggie Smith might match her if she wins for her turn in Quartet). Such an honor would ratify Day-Lewis' standing not simply as one of the greatest actors of his time, but for all time.Like Robert De Niro, Day-Lewis is seen as the quintessential method actor, a commitment he has taken to extremes in his well-known penchant for embodying his characters even when the cameras aren't rolling. Day-Lewis also is notable for the extraordinary breadth of roles he has played.He first came to global attention in 1985 when he appeared simultaneously as the priggish Cecil Vyse in the Merchant-Ivory film adaptation of E.M. Forster's 1907 novel "Room with a View" as well as Johnny, the gay East End punk, in Stephen Frears' brilliantly brash "My Beautiful Launderette."...

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Rep. Joe Courtney gets lesson in Oscar politics in debate over ‘Lincoln’ accuracy

    Rep. Joe Courtney says he had no idea he was wading into controversy when he questioned the accuracy of a key scene in “Lincoln.”After all, he knows Washington politics, not Hollywood politics.Last week, the Connecticut Democrat called on Steven Spielberg to “correct an historical inaccuracy” in the Oscar-nominated box-office hit — a scene, at the film’s climax, suggesting that two of his state’s three representatives voted against outlawing slavery in 1865.

  • Originally published 02/06/2013

    Conn. congressman sees factual flaw in 'Lincoln'

    As Rep. Joe Courtney watched the Oscar-nominated "Lincoln" over the weekend, something didn't seem right to him.He said Tuesday he was shocked that the Oscar-nominated film, about President Abraham Lincoln's political struggle to abolish slavery, includes a scene in which two Connecticut congressmen vote against the 13th amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery...Courtney, who majored in history at Tufts University, asked that the movie, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, be corrected before its release on DVD...

  • Originally published 01/07/2013

    Sean Wilentz: Lincoln in Hollywood, from Griffith to Spielberg

    Sean Wilentz is a professor of history at Princeton.... Lincoln is a remarkable historical rendering, offering a deft, knowledgeable depiction of Lincoln as well as a shrewd handling of the politics of the Civil War and emancipation. But the film’s larger importance lies elsewhere. For a century and more, American culture has been polluted by outrageous and pernicious portrayals of the war that apologize for the Confederacy and, by extension, for slavery. A few exceptionally popular books and movies have played a large part in sustaining, sometimes decades after they first appeared, what American historians know as the myth of the Lost Cause, vaunting the slaveholding South. With its gallant white Southrons and its happy-go-lucky slaves, living an idyll heavy with the scent of blooming magnolia, it is an all-American variant of the larger genre of reactionary sentimentalism that is as old as the Romantics.

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