We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s better to win the war, not the battle”. But what defines a battle, and what defines a war? When are you seen as wise, and when are you seen as a chicken? Better yet, as a female – which of your actions revere you respected, and regretfully, what of your behavior leaves the all too familiarized impression of being “hormonal”?
When I am mad, REALLY mad, I cry. I cry because I spend 50 percent of my day internalizing the raw emotion felt by others. That “responsibility” as I’d like to call it, leads me to subsequently ration it into specific places as to find a way to improve the entirety of the situation. I do not spend enough time thinking of myself…not even a small piece from the left over pie. Instead, I work diligently, compartmentalizing and structuring a plan that will result in enjoyable, elated coworkers leading to extremely profound results. So, when 50 percent of my time – time dedicated to a quiet, diligent effort to sustain a respectable, productive existence for those around me crumbles, well, I cry.
Crying is most always seen, regardless of sex, as weak (unless you are Jennifer Lawrence who literally burbs rainbows, Mathew McConaughey or in recent years, Justin Bieber). Crying is never depicted as a strong attribute. You can be winning battles and wars, slaying dragons, closing deals, negotiating people right out of their skin…but the only carnage you create that truly gets noticed is if you cry.
Yet, and I have no source to site or reference to footnote, I truly believe it is the strongest form of passion and compassion for one’s job that can truly be witnessed. Hand me a reason to care about my job, my co-workers, my bosses, the betterment of all and the betterment of those we serve – and guess what? From time to time, you will see me cry.
Give me a situation where I don’t care? Well, chances are, if I haven’t cried at least once – and publicly – I won’t be there long. If I find my tear ducts dry for too long, that is my signal: CODE BLUE! We have a problem. ABORT MISSION. This isn’t worth crying over.
Why? Because there really is no use crying over spilled milk. And as a woman, I think I should know what’s worth a tear or two. If this makes me weak in the eyes of the many? Eh, so be it. I’m going to remain steadfast on this principal and work hard to command attention and gain respect one battle dissolved, one war won, one tear shed at a time.
I made my RP debut with a story of overcoming adversity through social media and peanut butter. For those who did not indulge in the “tail” (if you search the archive, you will gain further understanding of this spelling), it was a collection of events that prompted a wake-up call in my life through very surprising channels and/or “ingredients”.
Tonight, as I was decompressing, a very enlightening thing happened along the same lines…
Why Inspiration and Insight Can Be Simple, Sweet, Social, and Seafood Related
I have since gained great responsibility at my new job. Being the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed gal that I am, I typically prioritize with this kind of self-communication:
Carpe Diem the heck out of life and your job, Christie.
Wait, what’s on our list today?
Gain respect by being respectful.
What can I cook that I can post a pic of on Facebook and further my obnoxious obsession with the “likes” it gets?
Okay, the list again.
RULE #1: Don’t watch viral videos. They are funny and they are TOXIC for productivity.
Prank call Mom for a quick laugh. No more Mountain Dew. They’re toxic too.
Stop it! The LIST!
Communicate effectively, lead by example, and work hard to showcase the hard work of others so that they may receive the credit they deserve.
Meet deadlines + make clients happy + get more clients + make everything happy for everyone = Satisfactory time spent in your twenties = CARPE DIEM NOW and CARVING OUT THE FUTURE DIEMS WITH LESS OF THE CARPE.
I may be a little scattered, but I mean well and I try to prioritize my focus as much as I can, what, with all these distractions these days and all.
That being said, I had the most monstrous day today. Truly, it was one for the record books. I’ve never felt so proud of my focus and distribution of energy; so eager for more, sad for the day to end, so excited for tomorrow….so…..
Then, I look at my Facebook for the first time all day. Already so proud of my lack of engagement with my typically welcome distraction, I post the most random and unrelated statement to my current situation:
“Isn’t it cool how uncooked shrimp are all grey and sad looking, and when you throw them in the pan, they turn pink and look all happy? I’ve never seen anything like it! They’re like, ‘COOK ME! EAT ME! LOVE ME!’”
I got the comment:
“Don’t forget “DIP ME!” which prompted me to think about things on a very casual and uninhibited philosophical level. I then posted:
“Recipes for success in food and in life…I’ll let you determine what the “life” definition is…”
And then, when I was deep in a pensive stare into the distance, pondering the creation of the stars in the sky and contemplating my navel, the most beautiful thing brought me back to Earth.
My sorority sister – one whom I’ve always admired for her unbelievable spirit and ability to find the “sweet” in the sourest of hours posted the most endearing thing. She said:
“I’m pretty sure the shrimp would disagree with you…”
Attached was a YouTube clip of the song “Les Poisson” from The Little Mermaid.
I clicked on the video from my phone, as us Gen Y kids do, and was immediately transported back to my childhood. I grinned, then I giggled, then I gawked at my own terrible behavior towards prawns. Then I pressed PLAY again.
I continued to do this until I could remember ALL of the words in this animated clip of Disney nostalgia. Then, I remembered a few more things to put on my list of responsibilities:
It is okay to watch videos. Not stupid ones or negative ones, but one a day less than 2 minutes that will enable you to rock the “Carpe Diem” mantra.
It’s okay to spread this joy. New thought? VIRAL JOY.
Prank “text” Mom instead with some viral joy. Streamlining, and yet still as funny.
By adding this simple step, it could even help in communicating effectively, leading by example, and maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to showcase your youth sometimes when you are trying to empower those around you.
Meet the deadlines, get the clients, make everything happy….Carpe, Carpe, Carpe….STOP. Successful time spent in your twenties is also carving out time to laugh, too.
There you have it, folks. “Carping” and “Diem-ing” without killing any “carp” or “shrimp”. List also went from 10 to 5. It’s neat sometimes how much easier life can be when you take some of the stupid out and add a little joy.
So I live to seize another day of the twenties; restored by reminiscing on the wee-days, reserving the right to laugh and post and post and laugh, all while preserving some future R&R for the thirties and beyond.
Thank you, Shannon for your revitalizing and effervescent spirit, thank you Little Mermaid, and once again – thank you Facebook. Oh, and I’m sorry shrimp – but you still are really good when I eat you, and with a growing career, I need to maintain a healthy diet.
* * *
No cartoon shrimp were harmed in the writing of this piece. But I ate a few real ones…
Have you ever felt the weight of the world beating down on you? That moment when your struggles are omnipresent and you brace for the impact of impending doom? That you gasp for air, reaching desperately for a glass of water that’s half empty instead of half full?
We’ve all at one time or another had an encounter with Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong, it will and it will happen thrice as bad as we can ever prepare for. This is my story of trials and tribulations – and the reason why I truly believe the worlds ills can sometimes be solved with a jar of Jiff and a few “likes”:
Why I Wear Combat Boots
January 2012: I was working as an Account Executive for a media company in my debut as a grown up, lugging around a 400-pound briefcase in a pencil skirt and high heels – truly believing that hard work was important, but image was everything. Much to my dismay, those pretty little patent-leather platform-pumps caused the tragic and premature demise of my beloved Camry. To be fair, I had put her through a lot. She lovingly persevered through countless hit-and-runs, a few tows, and the irresponsible behavior that defined college. She and her seatbelt also saved my life that night as I flipped across the highway, landing right side up without a scratch. I threw those heels away the next day.
Why Loving Your Career Shouldn’t Feel Like A Job
February 2012: There comes a moment in time in one’s life where you realize you have become a hamster spinning on a wheel. I was tired of being tired, giving my all and feeling constant defeat. I like to believe we all possess a sense of intuition, some stronger than others. My gut was screaming at me to make a change – and not my diet – my life. I was so busy that I paid no attention to what sounded like scratching noises coming from my cabinets. That, and the fact that my dog’s food was magically disappearing even though he was gone for a week…
Why Family Comes First
March 6th, 2012: I had become such a drone that it had been months since I made a trip in to see my family – something I have always done regularly and often. I was so self absorbed that I barely noticed my Grandfather reaching for the gas tank lever instead of the door handle. I immediately dismissed it; afraid of causing unnecessary stress and anxiety in our family and myself.
Read the rest of… Christie Mitchell: Adversity: How I Overcame Life’s Struggles With Social Media and Peanut Butter
As always, the KY Political Brief– and its wunderkind editor, Bradford Queen — has done a bang-up job of gathering all of the latest state and national reports on the most highly-watched (and sometimes, most crudely bizarre) U.S. Senate race in the country.
THE SCOOP : Source: Progress Kentucky Behind Mitch McConnell Campaign Recording - WFPL’s Phillip Bailey, Kenny Colston and Gabe Bullard – “A secret recording of a campaign strategy session between U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and his advisors was taped by leaders of the Progress Kentucky super PAC, says a longtime local Democratic operative. Mother Jones Magazine released the tape this week. The meeting itself took place on Feb. 2. Jacob Conway, who is on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, says that day, Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison, who founded and volunteered for Progress Kentucky, respectively, bragged to him about how they recorded the meeting. … On Feb. 2, McConnell opened his campaign headquarters in the Watterson Office Park in Louisville and invited trusted GOP activists and select media outlets to an open house. The event lasted roughly two hours. Afterward, McConnell and several campaign advisors held a strategy session in an office meeting room. Morrison and Reilly did not attend the open house, but they told Conway they arrived later and were able to hear the meeting from the hallway.” [WFPL]
–Mitch McConnell Tape Fallout: FBI Digs In, How Progress Kentucky Helps the GOP, Was it Illegal? [WFPL]
–The disastrous collapse of Kentucky’s least effective liberal group [BuzzFeed]
–Dave Weigel: Unwinding the moronic conspiracy to nail Mitch McConnell [Slate]
–Witness says political activists behind McConnell office bugging [WHAS-TV]
–Watchdog group files ethics complaint against McConnell - The Hill – “A government watchdog group on Thursday filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over the secretly taped strategy session that was leaked to the media this week. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate whether McConnell illegally used congressional staff time or resources for his reelection campaign.” [The Hill]
AL MAYO: “Progress Kentucky: Making McConnell the victim for over thirty days now” - KPB column – “Progress Kentucky has managed to make news twice during its short existence, and both times it involved Mitch McConnell. … This time they just did something even more stupid.” [KPB column]
SENATE DERBY : McConnell campaign poring over Grimes’ records - AP’s Roger Alford – The McConnell campaign has collected thousands of public records pertaining to Grimes’ first year in office, including travel invoices, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The materials even include reams of letters from people wanting to become Kentucky Colonels, an honorary designation bestowed on anyone who asks. McConnell, the Senate’s GOP leader, hasn’t yet drawn a major opponent in his bid for a sixth term in 2014. Still, he isn’t waiting for challengers to formally announce. He is doing opposition research on likely contenders as part of a process he was recently recorded describing as “Whac-A-Mole,” which he said means striking “when anybody sticks their head up.” … The McConnell campaign began the opposition research into Grimes last October, according to the documents reviewed by AP. His campaign filed a request with the state government under the Kentucky Open Records Act for a broad range of documents involving Grimes, including all email, texts, notes, documents, letters, even Post-it notes.” [AP]
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If you don’t already subscribe to the KY Political Brief, you missed all of the latest news on the emerging national Judd/McConnell “scandal”:
WHODUNIT? : McConnell campaign calls in FBI over secret recordings - CNN – “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign is “working with the FBI” on how Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, obtained a recording of political aides meeting with McConnell and discussing opposition research on Ashley Judd, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told CNN Tuesday. In the recordings, political operatives huddling at the senator’s campaign headquarters in Kentucky, are heard discussing potentially attacking Judd’s mental health, as well as her left-leaning politics, if she had decided to make a bid against McConnell, who’s running for a sixth term in office next year.” [CNN]
–Statement from campaign manager Jesse Benton: “Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings. Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a criminal investigation.”
–Mitch McConnell accuses Progress Kentucky of bugging [POLITICO]
–ICYMI: Mother Jones obtained a “secret recording” of a McConnell strategy session held February 2, 2013. On the recording, staffers and McConnell can be heard discussing possible lines of attack against then-possible candidate Ashley Judd and others, including Alison Lundergan Grimes. … Original Mother Jones post
JUDD RESPONDS : Ashley Judd’s publicist released a statement yesterday in a response to topics heard being discussed on the McConnell audio tape: “This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C. We expected nothing less from Mitch McConnell and his camp than to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter. Every day it becomes clearer how much we need change in Washington from this kind of rhetoric and actions.”
AL MAYO: “Espionage? I doubt it!” - KPB column – “… Then came the claim from McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton that the recordings were a result of bugging and the FBI was being called upon to investigate. Jesse–get a grip! If I were a betting man, I would consider it a lead pipe cinch that no bugging was underway. This is simply someone inside the meeting who recorded it via cell phone or other means on their person. I would further allege this wasn’t even done maliciously or with sinister intentions.” [KPB column]
SENATE DERBY : New PPP poll shows McConnell with narrow leads over possible opponents - PPP – “PPP’s newest poll of the Kentucky Senate race finds that Mitch McConnell continues to rank as the most unpopular Senator in the country, and that several Democrats are within striking distance of him in head to head match ups. … The good news for Democrats is that they still have several candidates who poll within striking range of McConnell. Alison Lundergan Grimes, despite having only 50% name recognition, comes within 4 points of McConnell at 45/41. … And former Congressman Ben Chandler trails McConnell just 46/41. Ed Marksberry, the only announced Democratic candidate in the race at this point, trails the incumbent 46/35.” [Public Policy Polling]
Our nation prides itself on intellectual achievements. We seek rational solutions. We live in an “information age” where knowledge is king.
Yet we are not solving drug addiction, violence, or war. After a record eleven years, war is routine. Mass gun murders occur monthly. One-third of us take anti-depressants. We have the biggest gap between rich and poor, and the smallest middle class, in three-quarters of a century. In a country that prided itself on education, debt increasingly precludes college and our international ranking is at new depths. Chronic disorders including autoimmune, intestinal, brain disorders at all ages, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and diabetes, are growing rapidly. Is this where intellectualization leads?
We glamorize the brain and its abilities. The future, we insist, will be the result of technology, the product of a vast brain trust. But is that a future we want? Will that bring more social ineptness and alienation, more mass murders, more routine war?
Sage Mohammed Nasser says we must “speak from our heart, not our brain.” Can the heart be the next plane of evolution? Energetically, the electromagnetic field created by the heart extends 15 feet, and is 5000 times more powerful than the brain. The heart is mostly nerve tissue! It has a deep memory and a consciousness. When we interact, do we assess the heart more than brain?
Deep inside, we know the heart’s worth. We have watched Ebenezer Scrooge, and vowed that would never be us. We know baby monkeys given nourishment, languish and die without a mothers love. Alienation and loneliness shorten longevity.
Read the rest of… Dr. Jim Roach: Heart Intelligence
With the recent release of the blockbuster, critically-acclaimed Lincoln, The Recovering Politician has asked Lincoln scholar, Matthew Pinsker — a professor at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania — to share some historical insights about our 16th President. Click here and here and here for his prior 3 pieces.
Here is the latest of his columns:
Here is a quick breakdown of the initial reaction from historians to Spielberg’s movie:
The leading academic critics so far have been Eric Foner from Columbia and Kate Masur from Northwestern. Foner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner and one of the most respected historians in the field, claims the movie “grossly exaggerates” its main point about the stark choices confronting the president at the end of the war over abolition or peace (Letter to the Editor, New York Times, November 26, 2012). Masur also accuses the film of oversimplifying the role of blacks in abolition and dismisses the effort as “an opportunity squandered” (Op-Ed, New York Times,November 12, 2012).
Harold Holzer, co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and author of more than 40 books, served as a consultant to the film and praises it but also observes that there is “no shortage of small historical bloopers in the movie” in a lively piece for The Daily Beast (November 22, 2012).
Professor Matthew Pinsker
Other historian / fact-checkers have been more kind. Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg College, also writing for The Daily Beast has some plot criticism, but argues that, “The pains that have been taken in the name of historical authenticity in this movie are worth hailing just on their own terms” (November 27, 2012). David Stewart, independent historical author, writing for History News Network, describes Spielberg’s work as “reasonably solid history” and tells readers of HNN, “go see it with a clear conscience” (November 20, 2012). Lincoln Biographer Ronald White also admired the film, though he noted a few mistakes and pointed out in an interview with NPR, “Is every word true? No.” (November 23, 2012).
Historical author / blogger Kevin Levin finds the whole process of historical nitpicking and response to be more than a little aggravating. Writing for The Atlantic, he complains, “Historians Need To Give Steven Spielberg A Break” (November 26, 2012). I agreed with Levin in some ways, but for the opposite reason. I argued for Quora (and Huffington Post) that people should simply stop worrying about whether any movie which necessarily invents dialogue, characters and scenes should ever be considered as “historically accurate.” It’s a work of art –historical fiction—which we need to judge by other standards (November 27, 2012). That’s also the point, Spielberg himself made at the Dedication Day ceremonies at Gettysburg (November 19, 2012) when he called his effort a “dream” and made a careful distinction between his historically inspired movie and actual works of history.
With the recent release of the blockbuster, critically-acclaimed Lincoln, The Recovering Politician has asked Lincoln scholar, Matthew Pinsker — a professor at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania — to share some historical insights about our 16th President. Click here and here for his prior 2 pieces.
Here is the latest of his columns:
This question is easy to answer as far as the movie is concerned, but much more complicated to explain in real life. The movie needs a plot device that raises dramatic tension, and so the audience is encouraged to believe through a series of scenes that passage of the Thirteenth Amendment by the House before the war’s end is absolutely essential –both to ending the conflict and for securing the final destruction of slavery. The implication builds in scene after scene that it was truly now or never for abolition by the end of January 1865.
But in reality, there is no indication that President Lincoln actually considered quick passage of the abolition amendment to be so crucial. His message to Congress in December 1864 strikes a much different tone. He wrote that “the next Congress will pass the measure if this does not” and so suggested that since there was “only a question of time as to when the proposed amendment will go to the States” why “may we not agree that the sooner the better?” The confidence of that taunt (“the sooner the better”) was no accident. The National Union (Republican) Party had won a sweeping victory in the 1864 elections on a platform that explicitly called for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The next Congress (39th) was going to have an anti-slavery super-majority in both houses. Lincoln considered the 1864 elections to have offered an overwhelming mandate. Many northern Democrats were demoralized and there was open talk in places like Tammany Hall (the New York City Democratic Party) about the need to distance themselves from slavery. And by every reckoning, the Confederacy was on the verge of total military and political collapse.
Professor Matthew Pinsker
This is not to argue that Lincoln was somehow reluctant about securing the amendment or not anxious at all about ending the war. But if Congress didn’t act on slavery at the beginning of January, it was going to do so either by special session in March or during the next regular session in December. Of course, it’s always possible that Lincoln feared any delays might jeopardize the balky Unionist/Republican coalition (represented in the film by the differences between Thaddeus Stevens / Tommy Lee Jones and his radical faction and old Francis P. Blair, Sr. / Hal Holbrook and his clique of conservatives).
Yet, practically every sign of the times suggested otherwise. For example, the movie makes much out of Lincoln’s fears regarding the Supreme Court and what they might do to his Emancipation Proclamation, but that was a concern much more relevant circa 1862 than early 1865 when leading abolitionist Salmon P. Chase was being confirmed as the new Chief Justice of the United States (replacing arch Lincoln enemy Roger Brooke Taney). I don’t think Chase’s name was even mentioned in the movie. Also left unmentioned was the fact that the Unionists / Republicans had actually packed the Supreme Court after 1863 –adding a tenth justice that helped their majority. Anti-slavery forces controlled the Supreme Court by the war’s end.
Read the rest of… Matthew Pinsker: Why Did Lincoln Rush the 13th Amendment?
As the new Steven Spielberg movie has reignited our national passion for our 16th President, we continue our series of posts from one of the nation’s leading experts on the topic: Dr. Matthew Pinsker, a Lincoln scholar, Civil War historian and college professor based at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA (and of course, longtime Friend of RP). For the last five years, Pinsker has personally trained more than 2,500 K-12 educators on Civil War and American history topics, and he has also been directing the House Divided Project, a digital effort designed to help classroom teachers use the latest technologies to promote deeper study of the American Civil War during its 150th anniversary.
Here is is second, cross-posted with Quora.com, with permission of the author:
Why do most people think of Lincoln as an anti-slavery President? Wasn’t he really more a pro-reunification president?
The best way to answer this question is to begin by defining terms. When Lincoln wrote on August 22, 1862 in his famous open letter to Horace Greeley, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery,” he was employing a word –”union”– that meant different things to different people (and still does, by the way). For Lincoln and the Republicans, the union was never merely a collection of states. Nor was it a centralized federal government or some abstract attachment to a paper Constitution.
This is the key point and what always leads to confusion. For Lincoln especially, the “union” was “the people” –as in “We the people” and what should properly be considered the fundamental and most revolutionary American doctrine of popular sovereignty.
Professor Matthew Pinsker
Look carefully at all of Lincoln’s wartime speeches and statements and you will see that behind the phrase “save the union,” Lincoln always meant to protect the results of the 1860 election which he believed had defined the popular will through a legitimate electoral process. That’s how he justified calling himself a unionist even though he led a sectional party. That’s why he refused practically all compromises during the secession crisis because he believed that they failed to acknowledge how much the election mattered. And that’s why he pursued increasingly “hard war” policies against the Confederacy, including emancipation, that ultimately turned the war into what he had once warned against, “a remorseless, revolutionary struggle.”
In other words, Lincoln was both anti-slavery and pro-union. In fact, he considered those positions one and the same, because he defined “union” as the popular will which by the 1860 election results had determined that the future of the country was to be free, or, as Lincoln put it at Gettysburg, to be “a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He was always willing to reunify the country on those terms, and never willing to consider anything less. This is, by the way, exactly the question that Steven Spielberg’s new movie, “Lincoln,” intends to examine by focusing on the last few months of the war and what the movie-makers present as the fundamental choice that Lincoln navigated during that period between pushing for a Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery or pursuing potential peace talks with Confederates.
As the new Steven Spielberg movie has reignited our national passion for our 16th President, The Recovering Politician today begins featuring a series of posts from one of the nation’s leading experts on the topic: Dr. Matthew Pinsker, a Lincoln scholar, Civil War historian and college professor based at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA (and of course, longtime Friend of RP). For the last five years, Pinsker has personally trained more than 2,500 K-12 educators on Civil War and American history topics, and he has also been directing the House Divided Project, a digital effort designed to help classroom teachers use the latest technologies to promote deeper study of the American Civil War during its 150th anniversary.
Here is his first column, cross-posted with Quora.com, with permission of the author:
It’s a mistake to worry about whether “Lincoln” the movie is historically accurate.
It’s historically inspired and inspiring but by definition any work of art that blends fiction (such as invented dialogue) with fact should never be considered “accurate.”
Spielberg himself acknowledges all this when he describes his movie as a “dream” and as a work of “historical fiction” (see his Dedication Day speech, November 19, 2012 at Gettysburg for a good example).
That doesn’t mean that the movie has no use in the history classroom or for the lifelong history student. “Lincoln” the movie creates an unforgettable historical mood or experience that almost no actual history of the period can match. It truly feels like “writing history with lightning” (Woodrow Wilson on another powerful movie, “Birth of a Nation”).
But accurate history sticks to the evidence and Spielberg and scriptwriter Tony Kushner don’t. When they want to convey the complicated dynamic of the Lincoln household, they take that responsibility seriously and consult several leading historical studies to create a layered account but at the end of the day they simply invent the most compelling scenes such as a bitter bedroom argument between First Husband and wife or a stunning scene where Abraham Lincoln slaps his oldest son (which, by the way, would NEVER have happened).
They also condense, conflate and simplify the politics behind the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which is the focal point of the movie. Just compare the Spielberg/Kushner interpretation to the best academic account of the subject (“Final Freedom” (2001) by Michael Vorenberg) and you realize how many corners the movie has to cut and nuances it has to ignore.
Professor Matthew Pinsker
Watching the movie, for example, it’s easy to forget that Lincoln was pushing for approval from a lame duck Congress where his numbers were worse than they would be in the newly elected Congress.
Why would he do that?
The movie also struggles to portray the details of the lobbying effort (relying heavily on invention, imagination and more than a little corny comic relief). Yet this movie probably does better on this difficult subject than any other American film.
So, accurate? No. But excellent anyway? Absolutely. In other words, don’t go to this movie (or any historical movie) to learn the facts. Go to imagine the experience and to enjoy the illusion that a great filmmaker can create.