More Than a Phase

Jan 29, 2013 | 1 comment

Landscape Turned RedSince seeing the movie, “Lincoln,” we have been on a Civil War (Nyel) and Lincoln (me) reading marathon.  I can’t help but wonder how many other people who saw the film were also prompted to learn more about our sixteenth president and/or the war that dominated his years in office.

For us, neither subject is a new interest.  Nyel has always been fascinated by the strategies and battles of war.  Since our visits to Gettysburg and other such sites some years back and then seeing Ken Burns’ Civil War series, he has read a number of books about that particular war.  As for me, I consider my interest in Abraham Lincoln almost genetic.

Lincoln CornerMy grandparents were avid Lincoln fans as were my parents.  There is even a corner of our library devoted to Lincoln – not a shrine exactly, but close.  It includes a copy of the deed to this property signed by Lincoln, a photograph of the Lincoln Memorial, a dozen or so books about him, and a plaster bust of his head.  Ironically, the bust has been broken at the back – shades of the gunshot wound that killed him?

What impressed me most about Daniel Day Lewis’s portrayal of Lincoln in the movie was the way it clarified Lincoln’s use of folksy humor and storytelling to make his point or to deflect the opposition.  We have all read that this was one of Lincoln’s strong characteristics, but the how of it was never really clear to me until the movie.

Rise to GreatnessSo often books about Lincoln explain the ‘why’ of his greatness, but the gentle force of his wit is harder to make clear.  If I were awarding the Oscars, Lewis would win best actor for that aspect of his portrayal, alone.  But… I digress.

I loved the movie and love that it prompted further reading – not only about Lincoln and the Civil War, but about the times of a century-and-a-half ago when our nation was still forming and Oysterville was brand new.  As always, I am reminded that some things don’t change – at least not as much as we’d like.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    The Civil War is a period of American history that was not that far in the past when I was born. The entire era is of interest to me. Such a sad time in our history and such a wonderful “captain” saw us to the shore of a restored union. Lewis certainly deserves an Oscar for his portrayal.

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