That Spielberg Movie About Lincoln

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Thanks to the dozens of emailers who have sent me a link to the “trailer” for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie about Lincoln (Out Nov.16). The trailer says the book is based on the book by the confessed plagiarist Doris Kearns-Goodwin. I reviewed the book here several years ago. From all indications the movie will be the typical extraordinarily misinformational whitewash. That’s how I would describe the other sycophantic books Goodwin has written about Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys. She is essentially a museum-quality specimen of a “court historian.” Her book Team of Rivals, on which the movie is said to be based, is the usual lame-excuse-for-everything treatment of Dishonest Abe. Like almost all other books on the subject, it reads like a defense lawyer’s brief for The War Crimes Trial of Abraham Lincoln.

For example, when she mentions that Lincoln was never a Christian, instead of pointing out the gigantic hypocrisy of his nevertheless quoting Scripture in his political speeches to dupe the public into thinking that God was somehow on his side, all Goodwin says is that we should feel even more sorry for poor old Abe than we do since he didn’t believe in an afterlife. When Goodwin discusses how it was Lincoln who orchestrated the passage through the U.S. Senate of the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution that would have forbidden the government from ever interfering with Southern slavery, instead of stating the obvious — that Lincoln was obviously willing to enshrine slavery explicitly in the Constitution and should be morally condemned for it — she praises him for it since it “held the Republican Party together.” Yea. That, in fact, is the theme of the whole book — what a slick, conniving, lying, manipulating politician Lincoln was. Goodwin just can’t praise Lincoln enough for these traits, which are the gold standard of behavior for successful Washington politicians and their ideological hacks.

8:49 am on September 15, 2012
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