Aired Wednesday February 11th, 2009 at 8:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
A highlight of the nationwide Lincoln Bicentennial celebration is this unprecedented two-hour documentary on the life and legacy of the man widely considered one of our best - and most enigmatic - presidents. Looking For Lincoln, premiering Wednesday, February, 11, 2009, at 8 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7, addresses many of the controversies surrounding Lincoln about race, equality, religion, politics and depression by carefully interpreting evidence from those who knew him and those who study him today.
Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (African American Lives, Oprah's Roots) travels from New Salem, IL, where Lincoln spent his young adulthood, fell in love and suffered with depression, to Springfield, where he married, became a lawyer and politician and first grappled with the slavery question. In Gettysburg, PA, Gates visits the scene of the Civil War's bloodiest battle and Lincoln's most famous speech. Gates also goes to Washington, D.C., where Lincoln presided over a country ripped apart by the war before his assassination on the eve of victory, and visits the Lincoln Memorial, which became, 50 years after his death, his most famous shrine.
Along the way, Gates encounters a menagerie of characters who live with Lincoln every day, from re-enactors to relic hunters, as well as those for whom the study of Lincoln is a passion. Among them - Pulitzer Prize winners Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tony Kushner; presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Former Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett challenges Lincoln's record on race; writer Joshua Shenk talks about Lincoln's depression; and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik illuminates how Lincoln's words changed the course of history. As Looking for Lincoln demonstrates, the Lincoln legend grew out of controversy, hurt feelings, greed, love, anger, clashing political perspectives, power struggles, and considerable disagreement over how our 16th president should be remembered.
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