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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:28 AM

What Spielberg’s “Lincoln” conveniently leaves out

Over this Thanksgiving week, you may find yourself in a movie theater watching Steven Spielberg’s treatment of Abraham Lincoln and the battle to pass the 13th Amerndment, which abolished slavery once and for all. There’s much to be said for Lincoln : marvelous acting, less mythologizing than usual, and a fascinating window into raucous realpolitik. Spielberg’s film stands several cuts above any movie depiction of the Lincoln presidency you’re likely to see.

Lincoln himself stands several cuts above the vast majority of U.S. presidents. After some equivocating, he freed the slaves, a monumental undertaking that was a service to the country and to humanity in general. He was also friendlier to workers than most presidents, an affinity noted by Karl Marx, who exchanged letters with Lincoln leading up to and during the Civil War. (You won’t see the GOP acknowledging that!)

But there’s a side of Lincoln that no Hollywood film shows clearly: He was extremely close to the railway barons, the most powerful corporate titans of the era.

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/25/what_spielberg’s_“lincoln”_conveniently_leaves_out/

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Reply What Spielberg’s “Lincoln” conveniently leaves out (Original post)
mfcorey1 Nov 2012 OP
randome Nov 2012 #1
dsc Nov 2012 #2
randome Nov 2012 #4
Vinnie From Indy Nov 2012 #5
randome Nov 2012 #50
alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #85
trumad Nov 2012 #8
WolverineDG Nov 2012 #28
randome Nov 2012 #52
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #65
Ian David Nov 2012 #78
randome Nov 2012 #80
Sherman A1 Nov 2012 #53
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #11
dsc Nov 2012 #23
thelordofhell Nov 2012 #54
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #24
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #61
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #86
WolverineDG Nov 2012 #92
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #93
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #66
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #77
MurrayDelph Nov 2012 #83
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #18
ret5hd Nov 2012 #27
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #60
dsc Nov 2012 #63
lunatica Nov 2012 #38
Lucinda Nov 2012 #6
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #12
WorseBeforeBetter Nov 2012 #17
MurrayDelph Nov 2012 #84
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #97
dsc Nov 2012 #21
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #9
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #14
Voice for Peace Nov 2012 #29
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #32
Kablooie Nov 2012 #56
spanone Nov 2012 #62
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #64
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #67
randome Nov 2012 #71
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #103
RBInMaine Nov 2012 #70
randome Nov 2012 #72
edbermac Nov 2012 #81
sendero Nov 2012 #82
zonkers Nov 2012 #87
jehop61 Nov 2012 #3
jwirr Nov 2012 #13
aletier_v Nov 2012 #22
jwirr Nov 2012 #58
Confusious Nov 2012 #39
jwirr Nov 2012 #59
Confusious Nov 2012 #88
grantcart Nov 2012 #7
mfcorey1 Nov 2012 #15
grantcart Nov 2012 #34
mfcorey1 Nov 2012 #90
grantcart Nov 2012 #91
jwirr Nov 2012 #10
ananda Nov 2012 #16
Beaverhausen Nov 2012 #19
dhill926 Nov 2012 #20
aquart Nov 2012 #25
Arugula Latte Nov 2012 #26
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #47
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #74
Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #30
graham4anything Nov 2012 #31
aletier_v Nov 2012 #36
graham4anything Nov 2012 #44
leveymg Nov 2012 #33
closeupready Nov 2012 #40
leveymg Nov 2012 #45
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #35
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #37
pnwmom Nov 2012 #41
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #42
leveymg Nov 2012 #48
Romulox Nov 2012 #99
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #43
Paladin Nov 2012 #57
DemocratSinceBirth Nov 2012 #46
MrMickeysMom Nov 2012 #89
DemocratSinceBirth Nov 2012 #95
MrMickeysMom Nov 2012 #102
kiva Nov 2012 #49
obamanut2012 Nov 2012 #68
Myrina Nov 2012 #100
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #51
bluestateguy Nov 2012 #55
Safetykitten Nov 2012 #69
DemocratSinceBirth Nov 2012 #75
H2O Man Nov 2012 #73
burnsei sensei Nov 2012 #76
Drunken Irishman Nov 2012 #79
Ron Green Nov 2012 #94
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #96
Romulox Nov 2012 #98
MadHound Nov 2012 #101
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #104

Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:43 AM

1. I really think Spielberg is over-rated.

Lincoln is basically his version of a documentary. It's easy to do because the plot is already written. So was Titanic. Most of his other movies have been so overly sappy, they're painful to watch.

I don't give much credit to filmmakers who don't come up with their own ideas.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:45 AM

2. titanic wasn't his movie

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Response to dsc (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:49 AM

4. Whoops. Substitute 'Saving Private Ryan', then.

I didn't like it because war movies are 'easy' to make. The chaos and danger too often substitute and detract from character development.

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:52 AM

5. And your expertise in the area of filmmaking is what?

Calling Private Ryan an "easy" movie to make is nonsense. In fact, Private Ryan was a groundbreaking film that in many respects redefined the genre.

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Response to Vinnie From Indy (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:52 PM

50. It's RELATIVELY easy, I should have specified.

When the canvas on which you make a movie is already provided for you, I think it's much easier to paint upon that canvas. War movies and magic already provide the parameters so you don't have to go to the trouble of defining your own.

Just my opinion.

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Response to Vinnie From Indy (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

85. Agreed

At the level of technique, Saving Private Ryan changed the way war movies will be made forever. Maybe another movie will come around and change it even more, but SPR - as silly as it is as an ideological production - was technically skillful in ways your interlocutor fails to acknowledge at his argumentative peril. Saying it was easy to make is just silly, relative or otherwise.

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:01 PM

8. Wow!

Private Ryan easy to make...

that was really an idiotic thing to say.

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Response to trumad (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:58 PM

28. well, he only spent the first 20 minutes re-creating the landing at Omaha Beach

easy-peasy

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:53 PM

52. Exactly. He RE-created it. He didn't create the parameters on his own.

Just my opinion.

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Response to randome (Reply #52)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:50 PM

65. It is easier to script and film a romcom or a drama

Made from whole cloth. Anyone in the business will tell you that. It also tends to be much cheaper.

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Response to randome (Reply #52)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:33 PM

78. How do you KNOW he didn't build a time machine and influence the actual events of the landing...

... just so he could have a really cool movie?

I think this is Quentin Tarantino's plan.

He's going to go back in time and make our timeline match the events of Inglorious Basterds.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #78)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:38 PM

80. Wow. I guess if you're hot in Hollywood, you get ALL the cool devices.

The rest of us get iPads.

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Response to trumad (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:53 PM

53. +1

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:04 PM

11. D-Day vets said it was a terrific movie and like being there

Which is why many of them had trauma from watching it.

War movies are very difficult to make.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:33 PM

23. the first 30 or so minutes

was a technical masterpiece but the rest of the film was a standard war film. Munich, Schindler's List, and now Lincoln are by far his best films.

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Response to dsc (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:56 PM

54. Don't forget The Color Purple

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:48 PM

24. "D-Day vets said it was ... like being there". And we know this how? Astroturfing.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:09 PM

61. Not "astroturfing" at all. A simple Google search will bring up a number of....

...actual D-Day vets who state the combat scenes were very realistic.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #61)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:18 PM

86. Actually, a respected combat vet and paratrooper, and who was familiar with movie making,

 

did not share your view that "actual D-Day vets" apparently thought that the movie was the most realistic and best of the WW II genre.

"On 6 June 1944, as a captain, he participated in the British Airborne Operation Tonga during the D-Day landings. (He) was among the first British officers to land in Normandy as part of Operation Overlord. His battalion were reinforcements that parachuted in after glider forces had landed and completed the main assault against Pegasus Bridge near Caen. He later met up with Major John Howard on Pegasus Bridge and helped repel several German counter attacks.
...
(He) "was a keen supporter of remembrance events especially those associated with the Normandy landings and the Dambusters."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Todd

This well-known combat vet and then film actor's D-Day experience of taking the the Pegasus bridge, with some of the 243 out of 610 men who were dropped with him, was covered in the film The Longest Day. It was not the only WW II experience that he had. His D-Day experience was just the beginning and he saw combat throughout the war.

You seem to be saying that the "actual D-Day vets" thought that the film was "very realistic."

Richard Todd was an "actual D-Day vet."

What was his take on the film?

Spielberg is very good at what he does. That includes getting publicity for his films.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #86)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:45 PM

92. He wasn't at Omaha Beach nt

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #92)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:02 AM

93. Spielberg wasn't at Omaha Beach. nt

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:52 PM

66. Because that's what they said in interviews when it came out

And what my grandfather told me. He landed at Normandy that day.

"Astroturfing" for who, Spielberg?! I wish I was on his payroll.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #66)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:33 PM

77. You mention that you wish that you were on Spielberg's payroll. I'm sure that you do.

 

Get a job!

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:14 PM

83. I had a simple way of knowing what one D-Day Vet said

I asked my Dad. His only complaint was that they didn't spend enough time (to his mind) showing the Tank Corps.

My dad was a tank Kick-sargent during the invasion.

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:20 PM

18. Just curious, but which characters in "Saving Private Ryan" did you feel were undeveloped? nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:57 PM

27. soldier #3' Act 3, Scene 15.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:01 PM

60. Just what I thought. nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:50 PM

63. In fairness it was a common complaint

Is Saving Private Ryan moving? Unaccountably, no. Beyond the horror of the visuals, the intervening hours fail to tug the heart strings. We're given a single defined sympathetic character, Hanks' Captain Miller. His inner torment is etched on Hanks' face in what must be another Oscar nominee role. But his unit are presented as a sketchy band of combat clichés: a cocky New Yorker, the dependable Sarge, a whining Jewish kid and a cowardly translator. As Ryan, Damon has barely a scene to act before he's plunged into the fighting.

http://www.totalfilm.com/reviews/cinema/saving-private-ryan

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:18 PM

38. I'm sure you think that Schindler's List was also just too easy right?

I think all of Spielberg's war movies are excellent historical reprisals of what the war was really like. I think his mini series Pacific was terrific and an eye opener as well as depiction of the reality of that part of the war.

You're always negative. Consistent and predictable.

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Response to dsc (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:53 AM

6. I thought James Cameron wrote titanic? n/t

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Response to Lucinda (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:05 PM

12. Yes did, and directed it

I also think it's a really good movie, and am glad the trend of thinking its cool to dislike it is finally ebbing.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:17 PM

17. I almost walked out of the theater while watching "Titanic."

Not sure where that places me on the cool-o-meter, but I thought it sucked THEN, and I think it sucks NOW. To each his or her own though, eh?

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Response to WorseBeforeBetter (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:17 PM

84. I almost walked out too

but I think that had more to do with the rushing water and the giant soda I'd been drinking.

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Response to MurrayDelph (Reply #84)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 AM

97. Hence, Mayor Bloomberg!

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Response to Lucinda (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:30 PM

21. sorry meant to type wasn't

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:03 PM

9. Did you think "Shindler's List" was sappy?

Or "Empire of the Sun"?

Also, James Cameron produced and directed Titanic, not Spielberg.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:09 PM

14. Titanic was not his film, James Cameron made that film.

Spielberg is a director primarily, and as such he did not write the screenplay for Lincoln. It was written by Tony Kushner, a Pullitzer Prize winning playwright, using Goodwin's 'A Team of Rivals' as starting place. Screenplay took 6 years.
Most filmmakers, and certainly both Cameron and Speilberg work on films of various sorts, so while 'Titanic' is historical in nature and largely based on the previous film about the sinking, 'Avatar' is a fiction and an idea of his own making. I find the notion that there should be no cinema based on historic events or figures to be not very well thought out.
And of course, 'filmmakers' who are directors don't ever have to come up with their own ideas, as that's the writer's job. Some also write. Some don't. Some do, but shouldn't and that last one is probably the largest group in our era.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:02 PM

29. E.T. phone home?

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:09 PM

32. So what? This movie is by Tony Kushner.

Directors are not always authors. Spielberg is an excellent technician in bringing the scenes written by the playwright to life.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:12 PM

56. Spielberg is a great story teller. Not so great as a story writer.

If you give him a mediocre story he can tell it so it still entertains almost sounds good.
Give him a great story and, of course, he tells it wonderfully as well.

Not so much with comedy though. He's not a great comedian.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:12 PM

62. one of the greatest movie men in history. period.

31 academy awards

shirley you jest.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:44 PM

64. me too. i haven't seen all his films, but the ones i have seen made me not want to see the others.

 

i am kind of interested in lincoln mainly because sally field actually looks kinda like mary todd lincoln.

i hated ET; it was hyped to the skies & i couldn't understand why. it was the reason i started questioning which films made the cover of TIME/Newsweek, something i'd theretofore assumed must mean they were the unquestioned best.

Spielberg's film imho have a machine-like quality.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #64)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:54 PM

67. Schindler's List? Empire of the Sun?

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #64)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:09 PM

71. My daughters are finally old enough that we watched Pulp Fiction together a couple days ago.

In that film, Tarantino created the characters, the plot and the style. It was a much greater creative effort than what Spielberg usually does. I think of Spielberg the same way as George Lucas -taking the easy way out.

Again, everyone, just my opinion.

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Response to randome (Reply #71)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:41 PM

103. I don't like taratino either (nothing personal, i just don't). It's been a while, actually,

 

that i saw a fiction film that really wowed me.

Here's one i'd like to see:



but it's a documentary.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:08 PM

70. I totally disagree. He is a GREAT film maker. Everthing from "Jaws" to "Close Encounters" to the

Indiana Jones movies, to such great works as "Empire of the Sun," "Schindler's List," "The Color Purple," "Saving Private Ryan," "Amistad," "Munich," and now "Lincoln." "Catch Me If You Can" was also great. He's had a few semi-misfires, but he really stands out there as one of the great ones with such a large and diverse body of very good work.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #70)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:12 PM

72. I love Raiders of the Lost Ark.

That's...about all I've liked from Spielberg. But that's just me.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:00 PM

81. Spielberg directed Titanic?

That must have been around the same time Stanley Kubrick directed his last film, Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:13 PM

82. I agree..

.. but probably for different reasons. I just think his movies are sappy and predictable and not interesting.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:50 PM

87. Uh, Spielberg is awesome. As a director, he has created some of the most iconic films in history

ET, JAWS, SCHINDLERS LIST, POLTERGEIST, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. His contribution to cinema is staggering. He deserves way more credit than he gets. His output is amazing. He is prolific not just as a director but as a producer. His whole life is movies. He is a national treasure. And no, he did not direct Titanic.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:46 AM

3. So it's wrong to be successful?

Lincoln was a poor boy who worked hard, got an education under extreme hardship and had a flourishing business. My idea of a good American. Big corporations of the time were the only places where money could be made. How else could he have run for President? Please don't judge history by the times we live in.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:06 PM

13. It is not about being successful but how you become successful. We have used the idea of

manifest destiny to justify our assault on people of color for a thousand years all across the world. If they were to do this to us we would call it theft.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:32 PM

22. A thousand years?!

Why not make it two thousand and blame Jesus, too?

Manifest Destiny is a "19th century concept", a thousand years is a bit of stretch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:31 PM

58. I was thinking about the use of this method by Rome/England in the expansion of their Empires.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:20 PM

39. I scecond the WTF? "a thousand years?"

Time to take a remedial history course.

This country is only 225 years old. Manifest destiny was thought up 200 years ago and completed 150 years ago.

Again, WTF?

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Response to Confusious (Reply #39)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:32 PM

59. Put the use of manifest destiny methodology is not new - it has been the practice of most empires.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:26 PM

88. I suppose, if you gut the entire idea

Manifest Destiny was the belief widely held by Americans in the 19th century that the United States was destined to expand across the continent.

No empire, not the Romans, Spanish or British, had any idea like that. They all just fell into their empires.

The Romans, getting involved in other peoples wars and their search for eternal security, the Spanish, because of the discovery of America, the British, because of their desire to keep balance on the European continent, a balance which usually favored them, BTW.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:59 AM

7. small minded perspective from a small minded source.


(btw your link didn't work for me)


FDR was elected with support from organized crime. He put together an unholy alliance to do great and valuable work.

That's what Presidents have to do in a non parlimentary system where not only their power is extremely limited but they have to work with a legislature that is split into two parts and fragmented.

Lincoln is a brilliant movie and Spielberg not only captures Lincoln but he captures how difficult it is to pass big legislation through our byzantine legislature.

But no Lincoln was not "extremely close to the railway barons". He wasn't extremely close to anyone, all Lincoln biographers are unanimous that he was a very solitary man who kept his own counsel, frequently even from his closest associates and his wife.

Lincoln used every device he could to keep the Union together and that meant that he was going to have to supply the a huge army with railroads. This meant that they had to be able to build and rebuild track that was under constant attack by the rebels.

Using this same silly logic you could build a case that "FDR was very close to the airplane industry", or the armaments industry.

Lincoln had only one close associate and that was the Union and he would use every tool and every alliance he could to save it, and finally destroy slavery.

I am guessing that you haven't actually seen the movie, is that correct?

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Response to grantcart (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:12 PM

15. Scroll left side of page for article. This is the way the link prints.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Reply #15)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:10 PM

34. ok thanks. If you haven't seen the movie I recommend that you do.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #34)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:32 PM

90. I will. I don't agree with the article. I just thought it would be interesting discussion. nt

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Response to mfcorey1 (Reply #90)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:37 PM

91. That's what I thought.


Frankly I thought the movie was not only one of the best ever made and rivals Schindler's List for bringing a difficult historical period into clarity in an interesting way (btw Liam was the original choice for Lincoln but it was so long in development that he considered himself too old. Lewis is beyond brilliant), but he also is going to educate the entire country on how difficult it is to pass any legislation in this country with two legislative bodies and all of the different factions and egos.

Its really a miracle that this country works at all when you think about it.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:03 PM

10. And Native Americans can testify to your last statement. They died in droves so that the barons

could open up the west.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:14 PM

16. Hell on Wheels deals with the post CW railway business.

But its depiction of natives is a bit skewed.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:21 PM

19. Here's a good article on the choices made by the filmmakers on what to include

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:30 PM

20. read Stephen Ambrose's "Nothing Like It in the World,"

a few months back. A lot of history I wasn't aware of, including Lincoln's role in the building of the railroads....Fascinating stuff.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:51 PM

25. To quote Jimmy Breslin: "No one reaches the Presidency in a state of grace."

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:53 PM

26. I think even the greatest presidents have major flaws.

My favorite president is FDR and he did a world of good, but I'll never forget how he put good Japanese American citizens in internment camps.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:37 PM

47. Mhm. Every human has flaws. When they have as much power as a President, they're only amplified. nt

 

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:15 PM

74. And then there's the tiny matter of Lucy Rutherford - n/t

 

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:06 PM

30. He was the only candidate that ran on limiting slavery to slave states.

Even this modest sounding platform was considered a clear threat by the right wing of the day. It was a threat to their pretense that they were not participating in the government for the sole purpose of expanding slavery. Karl Marx wrote quite a bit about Lincoln and his seminal role in American history.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:08 PM

31. the OP article in Salon shows everything that is wrong with those who are never satisfied

 

and who project one and only one wedge issue into every single thing and are greedy and don' look at the big picture

(same with the LBJ haters).

Amazing that without Lincoln/FDR/LBJ/Carter/Obama you would have all of nothing

yet the people spew the constitution, conviently forgetting that Jefferson probably was the single greates hypocrite of all time, all are equal but the slaves he abused and owned.

Amazing that Spielberg could have made Jaws 6, 7, 8,9,10 and not done anything worthy
but he moved away from that and the story was focused solely on the short period it was in.

Anyone (talking about the Salon writer) who professes to know movies, would have known that and not bloviated something not part of this movie

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #31)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:14 PM

36. And ironic considering that one of the sub-plots of the move

is the compromises Thaddeus Stevens had to make
to get *something* passed.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #36)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:33 PM

44. Yup. I do think myself that Spielberg wanted that to be the main thing people got out of the movie

 

and I do think it intentional showing basically Lincoln=Obama in the way they reason something.
It is not coincidental.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:10 PM

33. Speilberg is, himself, a plutocrat. You can't expect him to make a class-based critique. Period.

As a plutocrat, he is, of course, several cuts above most of the rest. But, any meeting of the minds between Lincoln and Karl Marx aren't likely to make the final cut. Not in the American release, anyway.

Someone really should film the story of one of Lincoln's closest friends. He was a Civil War Union General from Prussia named Karl Schurz who had been a Member of the revolutionary parliament that was crushed with the help of the the Czar by Prusso-Austrian aristocrats. Along with the other founding Socialists and radicals, Schurz was hounded out of Europe by Bismarck's Chief of Secret Police before he came to America, where he went on to be Sentaor from Wisconsin, a leading light in the Republican Party, a noted Abolitionist and "Carpetbagger", and alongside Mark Twain, a head of the Anti-Imperialist movement, and Ambassador to Spain. See, Subsection "Return of the Prussian Policeman", http://journals.democraticunderground.com/leveymg/211

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Response to leveymg (Reply #33)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:23 PM

40. Correct. I saw the film, thought it was excellent, but

I don't think you can honestly watch this film without acknowledging that Spielberg is a billionaire who is a primary power player in the entertainment (/propaganda) industry. I say that as a Spielberg fan.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:35 PM

45. I am also a fan of a lot of Spielberg's movies, even if I disagree with some of his politics.

He manages to make propaganda films that rise to art - which is no longer just propaganda. He is a genuine artist.

Orwell wrote several fine essays about how propaganda can never be art, and vis-a-versa. The worst sort of critic is one who calls a work of art "bad art" because he disagrees with the politics of the artist. I'm afraid that some Hollywood films and filmmakers have suffered because their politics were unacceptable to those who run the industry, who are essentially conservatives. Michael Cimino's great, sweeping (but admittedly flawed) masterpiece, Heaven's Gate, fits into that category of art suppressed by the Hollywood Establishment, of which Spielberg is undoubtedly a major figure, as well as a major artist.



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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:12 PM

35. Until we change our form of governance, the best that America can hope for is

 

some good to be done alongside the march of the plutocracy.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:17 PM

37. This isn't a critique of "Lincoln" the movie at all.

A more accurate title would have been, "Washington DC: January 1865," because 90 percent of the film occurs in this window and the focus is entirely on the drive to win passage of the 13th Amendment and machinations to avoid an early peace with the Confederacy that might preserve slavery. Past events are evoked only as they come up in the story, and entirely through dialogue. There are no flashbacks. It's barely mythologized, there is ample reference to ambiguities and contradictions and conflicts unresolved by this one stage. Thaddeus Stevens plays a role almost as significant as Lincoln's. Almost no one is simply good or evil, or even right and wrong. This is in no way a standard biopic and by no means intended to tell the biography of Lincoln, the history of the Civil War, or the full politics of the time beyond the particular struggles shown.

Also, if you see it, it will be clear immediately that it is not simply Spielberg's film, or that Spielberg is clearly the competent executor of someone else's vision. Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay and all the action is in the dialogue.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:28 PM

41. Meh.

Which President doesn't have any flaws or complicated history?

And why should his relationship with railway barons have been put into this particular movie about the passage of the 13th Amendment?

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:32 PM

42. What can't all movies about American heroes instead focus on how awful they are?

 


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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:41 PM

48. Why can't the world be pure black and white, good vs evil, like an old-fashioned comic book?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:34 AM

99. Because *reality*? nt

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:33 PM

43. More contrary know-it-all shit. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #43)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:16 PM

57. Exactly. (nt)

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:35 PM

46. I Saw " Lincoln " And Am Now Reading "Team Of Rivals"

The Salon reviewer discovered Lincoln isn't a "cardboard saint". That's clever...What makes him great was that he wasn't.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #46)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:31 PM

89. I'm 3/4 through "Team of Rivals", and there is no mention ...

... of the OP's oversight. Perhaps the movie is based on the book, then.

It's a good account of political brilliance, which can't include what the OP says is missing, too.

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Response to MrMickeysMom (Reply #89)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:58 AM

95. The Book Is Seven Hundred Plus Pages

It captures the essence of the book but to follow the book it would need to be a made for tv documentary with several parts.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #95)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:07 PM

102. True!

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:50 PM

49. Why should it have shown this?

Not snark, just honestly why? The focus on the film was the passage of the 13th amendment, not Gilded Age robber barons. Now if the film had been about the barons and ignored this, that would have been something to complain about.

One of the biggest complaints from people I know who write scholarly articles is having people ask "why did you leave _______ out?". Well, maybe because the article wasn't about X, it was about Y. Not a giant conspiracy or bad writing or poor researching, just a different aspect to a topic.

If you want to see a movie about Lincoln and his connections to big business in the Gilded Age, start a campaign to have someone make that movie, or make it yourself.

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Response to kiva (Reply #49)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:57 PM

68. My first thought, too

The movie had a narrow focus/theme.

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Response to kiva (Reply #49)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:46 AM

100. Ding Ding Ding -- we have a winner!

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:53 PM

51. I still haven't been able to see it. I'm hoping to get to go this Thursday.

I don't know what people are expecting. It's not a documentary. If people want to know exactly what happened they should probably read up on some history. Otherwise just enjoy the movie for what it is.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:01 PM

55. This is not a secret

Typically Republican politicians of the mid 19th century were very buddy-buddy with the railroads. Republicans favored government subsidy for the railroads and internal improvement projects (what we call infrastructure today) that would necessitate a broader railroad network.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:01 PM

69. He was also close to men. He liked men.

 

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Response to Safetykitten (Reply #69)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:20 PM

75. Which Was Common At The Time.

If you read the history of that era there were a lot more what we in the twenty first century would call "bromances".

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:14 PM

73. I saw the movie yesterday.

I think that it makes very clear that President Lincoln, like all great and not-so-great people, was a flawed character.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:31 PM

76. I agree that he was close to them, but

he was not uncritical in his assessment of corporate power and its potential to subvert and undermine democratic and republican institutions.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:36 PM

79. WAIT! WHOA! BACK THIS UP! So, Lincoln wasn't perfect?!?

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:22 AM

94. What Spielberg's "Lincoln" SHOULD have left out

are the last couple of scenes after the assassination. The perfect ending was Lincoln's shambling walk down the corridor of the White House on his way to the theater.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:02 AM

96. "a service to the country and to humanity in general." True, but England beat us to it by 32 years

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:31 AM

98. Lincoln spoke publically in support of slavery as late as 1861. Spielberg has whitewashed history.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:46 AM

101. This is Salon's big scoop? That Lincoln acted like the attorney that he was,

 

And represented lots of railroad corporations in court. Big whoop, as Salon itself noted, Lincoln was a young and hungry lawyer who needed clients in order to make a living.

What's next, the realization that doctors save lives, including the lives of criminals? This article is a lot of hot air about nothing.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #101)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:43 PM

104. it's actually an important fact in considering who his backers were & the reasons for the

 

civil war.

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