The movie ‘Lincoln’ directed by Steven Spielberg is just days away from being in the movie theaters. After watching the preview and synopsis found on the movie’s website (www.thelincolnmovie.com), it’s not hard to tell that the spin on the movie will be that Lincoln freed the slaves and that he also saved the Union. Although many have been taught that this was the real history of America, I have learned that Lincoln was a much different person than what this movie will portray.
Why has the story of Lincoln’s history been changed in order to make him sound a like a perfect American President? As author Thomas DiLorenzo points out, “this occurred partly because the government became more and more influential over education in the postwar era, and government always uses public education to aggrandize itself. But the truth is available for anyone who perseveres enough to look for it.”➀ After doing my research, I have found out that DiLorenzo has exposed many myths about Lincoln. I had always thought that Lincoln had invaded the south to free the slaves. This is far from the truth. Lincoln wrote in a letter to newspaper editor Horace Greeley in August of 1862 that, “My paramount objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.”➁
Did Lincoln save the Union? In our nation’s Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution our states are referred to as free and independent. This means that each state had and still has the right to leave the union if they decide do. After reviewing the history of Lincoln and the actual events of the war, I can not help but agree with DiLorenzo’s opinion on whether or not Lincoln saved the union. His opinion is that, “Lincoln “saved” the federal union in the same sense that a man who has been abusing his wife “saves” his marital union by violently forcing his wife back into the home and threatening to shoot her if she leaves again. The union may well be saved, but it is not the same kind of union that existed on their wedding day.”
So does Steven Spielberg understand the history of Lincoln? In my opinion, he probably doesn’t. If he does know the truth about Lincoln, then he is showing his true character by making a movie about Lincoln that people are going to assume is the truth while spinning Lincoln as a hero rather than a destroyer of individual liberty. In other words, in my opinion this movie is going to be an epic catastrophe due to the fact that it will not be the “Honest”History of our “Honest” Abe.
To watch Thomas DiLorenzo talk about Lincoln, please click-on the following link: http://youtu.be/nbFty9nZUac
1. DiLorenzo, Thomas. Lincoln Unmasked. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006. 23.
2. Abraham Lincoln, “Letter to Horace Greely, August 22, 1962,” in Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings, ed. Roy Basler (New York: Da Capo Press, 1946), p. 652.