Lincoln: Past and Present
This past weekend, members of my U.S History class headed to the Great Barrington TriPlex to see “Lincoln.” Based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography Team of Rivals, the film captures Abraham Lincoln, our nation’s 16th president, in the final four months of his life as he desperately tries to pass the 13th amendment to abolish slavery, all the while directing the close of the Civil War.
“The movie shows how he had to deal with a Cabinet that didn’t really trust him, a House of Representatives that disrespected him, and, above all, an unstable wife and a troubling son, which only made the audience care more deeply about this most extraordinary man, and even more about his cause,” said Esther Chen ’13.
The timing of the release of the film matched perfectly with our conclusion of a unit on the Civil War, allowing students to augment their understanding of Lincoln’s motives and actions beyond the classroom. “My prior knowledge of the Civil War helped me understand the movie fully,” said Hadley Laskowski ’13. “Likewise, seeing the movie helped me truly picture some of those historical events.” All in all, the movie brought a new perspective for the politics of the time and an appreciation for Abraham Lincoln. As Luis Echeverria ‘13 noted, “Lincoln was magnificent.”
-- Heidi Woodworth, History teacher