Lincoln: Heroic or humdrum?

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president

Abraham Lincoln, 16th president, from the White House’s website

Quick review: very, very good movie. As the story of Lincoln ended slavery it deserves most of the Oscars it has been nominated for in my opinion. It’s moving, it’s dramatic, it’s well acted, it’s suspenseful despite you knowing how it’s going to end; the lot. However the review was the not the purpose of this post. That’ll be explained now:

I’m a bit of a Yankophile (apparently the most common term on the internet for USA (henceforth referred to as America for simplicity) the American equivalent of Anglophile).

They helped win WWII, a war my granddad served in, so I’ve got a bit of emotional involvement there. I’ve also been raised on modern television, movies and media which is dominated by America. Apart from England (God save the Queen! I’m an Anglophile as well), they’ve been the longest running stable democracy (that I can think of offhand: I’m sure a few European countries have been “civilised” for a while as well), and have MIT.

And their second-most famous president is the titular Abraham Lincoln (after George Washington, a slave owner (although he kinda freed them after his death) and a proponent of scorched earth tactics, even against non-combatants). Ok, I promise no more parenthesis now: old Abe has until recently ranked in my top 5 favourite leaders of all time which is including Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, King David of Jewish fame, and King Leonidas of Spartan fame. So obviously I was very excited to watch Lincoln.Ā 

And to bring everything together: due to my exposure to America I’ve always thought Lincoln was a saint, the sole saviour of the enslaved black population of the pre-civil war United States, progressive thinker, the lot. And that’s what the movie shows. However I found this article from the Daily Mail, and it kinda shattered my universe a little bit:
Was Lincoln racist?

I won’t lengthen this post further, but I just recommend you read it, and judge for yourself how skewed history can get.

Jeremy

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2 thoughts on “Lincoln: Heroic or humdrum?

  1. This is interesting, because I know absolutely nothing about Lincoln! I’ve never really been taught anything about him, except for the fact that he was the one that said fore score and seven years ago or something….at least, I think that was him. :S

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