Abe Lincoln

Eric Foner, Professor of History and author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, gave his take on Spielberg’s Lincoln in a letter to the NYT sent earlier this week. Apparently, Hollywood’s latest take on the Great Emancipator takes some liberties.

“The film,” he writes, “grossly exaggerates the possibility that by January 1865 the war might have ended with slavery still intact.” He continues:

Mr. Brooks, and the film, offer a severely truncated view. Emancipation — like all far-reaching political change — resulted from events at all levels of society, including the efforts of social movements to change public sentiment and of slaves themselves to acquire freedom.

Not-the-only-cause-of-emancipation via Wikimedia