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The Social and Cultural Construction of Abraham Lincoln in U.S. Movies and on U.S. TV

Author(s): John Dean

Journal: American Studies Journal
ISSN 1433-5239

Issue: 53;
Start page: 6;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: America | United States | US | Abraham Lincoln | American Civil War | slavery | politics | history | culture | Hollywood | movies | films | television | image

Abraham Lincoln has constantly moved among and stirred Americans in the common, shifting ground of their popular, visual, and digital imagination. Nowadays, Lincoln is larger than the sum of his parts. This is due partly to his own prismatic personality, partly to his political genius, partly to the special needs of the American nation and its people. If Lincoln did not exist, someone, somehow, would have tried to construct a representative figure who came close to the mark of what the Civil War, the fight for Union, the failure of Succession, the liberty of the slaves and the material-spiritual expansion of America meant. But Lincoln existed. Lincoln hit the target. Here was witness, cause, martyr and lodestone all packed into one.
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