Looking for Lincoln

Watch Looking for Lincoln

  • 2009
  • 1 Season

Looking for Lincoln is a fascinating historical documentary series, created by PBS and starring two of America’s most renowned historians, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Doris Kearns Goodwin. The show is a detailed exploration of the life, legacy, and enduring impact of one of America’s most beloved and controversial figures, Abraham Lincoln.

The series is divided into four episodes, each of which focuses on a different aspect of Lincoln’s life and career. In the first episode, entitled “The Railsplitter,” Gates and Kearns Goodwin examine Lincoln’s humble roots and early life, tracing his journey from a dirt-poor frontiersman to a successful lawyer and politician. Along the way, they delve into the social, political, and economic conditions of early 19th-century America, showing how these factors shaped Lincoln’s views and values.

In the second episode, “Promised Land,” the focus shifts to Lincoln’s presidency and his role in the Civil War. Gates and Kearns Goodwin use a mix of expert commentary, archival footage, and dramatic recreations to bring to life the turbulent years of the Civil War, from the secession of the southern states to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and his eventual assassination. Along the way, they explore the challenges faced by Lincoln as he attempted to preserve the Union and end slavery, and the profound impact that his leadership had on American society and culture.

The third episode, “The Testimonial,” examines Lincoln’s legacy in the years following his death, as Americans struggled to come to terms with the devastation of the Civil War and the meaning of Lincoln’s life and death. Gates and Kearns Goodwin explore the various ways in which Lincoln was memorialized and remembered, from the creation of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to the enduring myths and legends that have grown up around his life and career.

Finally, in the fourth and final episode, “Remembering Lincoln,” Gates and Kearns Goodwin travel across the country, speaking with ordinary Americans about their own personal connections to Lincoln and his legacy. Through their conversations, Gates and Kearns Goodwin show how Lincoln continues to inspire and influence people today, more than 150 years after his death.

Throughout the series, Gates and Kearns Goodwin bring their considerable expertise and insight to bear on their subject, providing a rich and nuanced portrait of Lincoln that deftly balances scholarship with accessibility. They engage in lively discussions with other historians, offering a range of perspectives on Lincoln’s life and career, and they also make use of original documents, photographs, and other materials to bring their subject to life in vivid detail.

One of the key strengths of Looking for Lincoln is the way that it places Lincoln’s life and legacy within the broader context of American history. By exploring the political, social, and economic factors that shaped Lincoln’s views and actions, Gates and Kearns Goodwin show how Lincoln’s story is really the story of America itself. They also demonstrate how Lincoln’s legacy has evolved over time, as different generations have grappled with the meaning of his life and career.

In conclusion, Looking for Lincoln is a compelling and informative documentary series that offers a fresh and insightful look at one of America’s most important historical figures. Through its engaging storytelling, expert analysis, and wide-ranging historical perspective, the series provides a rich and nuanced portrait of Lincoln that is both fascinating and highly accessible. Whether you are a seasoned history buff or simply curious about one of America’s most iconic figures, Looking for Lincoln is definitely worth watching.

Looking for Lincoln is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (2 episodes). The series first aired on February 11, 2009.

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Looking for Lincoln, Pt. 2
2. Looking for Lincoln, Pt. 2
February 11, 2009
Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s examination of the life of Abraham Lincoln continues.
Part 1
1. Part 1
February 11, 2009
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. travels around the country from Gettysburg, PA, to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, to meet with those who study and live with Lincoln every day.
Where to Watch Looking for Lincoln
Looking for Lincoln is available for streaming on the PBS Documentaries website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Looking for Lincoln on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 11, 2009