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Abraham Lincoln

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06:04

George Saunders Re-Imagines A President's Grief With 'Lincoln In The Bardo'

Willie Lincoln was only 11 when he died in February 1862 of typhoid fever. The Lincolns' third son was said to be their favorite, and after Willie was interred in a borrowed mausoleum in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, his father, Abraham Lincoln, returned to that cemetery several times. Newspapers reported that the president visited the crypt to open his son's coffin and hold his body. It's that image, of Lincoln cradling the corpse of his beloved son in a Pietà pose, that inspires George Saunders' first novel, called Lincoln in the Bardo.

21:30

Kushner's 'Lincoln' Is Strange, But Also Savvy

Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay for the film Lincoln, which focuses on the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office. Kushner read more than 20 books before writing about Lincoln, a man who had "an enormous capacity for grief that didn't deprive him of the ability to act."

42:24

'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

In a new book, Civil War historian Bruce Levine says that from the destruction of the South emerged an entirely new country, making the Civil War equivalent to a second American Revolution. Integral to the Union's victory, he says, were the nearly 200,000 black soldiers who enlisted.

33:11

Kushner's 'Lincoln' Is Strange, But Also Savvy.

Tony Kushner wrote the screenplay for the film Lincoln, which focuses on the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office. Kushner read more than 20 books before writing about Lincoln, a man who had "an enormous capacity for grief that didn't deprive him of the ability to act."

09:58

Doris Kearns Goodwin On Lincoln And His 'Team Of Rivals.'

In Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explains how the 16th president brought into his cabinet three powerful men who politically opposed him. She spoke with Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2005.

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 8, 2005.

32:18

'Antietam' Dissects Strategies Of North And South.

In The Long Road to Antietam, historian Richard Slotkin traces how both Northern and Southern strategies changed in the summer of 1862, when both sides committed to an all-out total war, and Lincoln squared off against Gen. George McClellan.

05:25

'The Conspirator': A Trying Trial For Lincoln's Foes.

Robert Redford's historical drama focuses on the months after President Lincoln was assassinated — and on Mary Surratt, the woman alleged to have aided the plotters. Critic David Edelstein says it's a dramatized civil-liberties lecture, both transparent and exaggerated.

41:30

Tracing President Lincoln's Thoughts On Slavery

Abraham Lincoln always thought slavery was unjust — but struggled with what to do once slavery ended. Historian Eric Foner traces how Lincoln's thoughts about slavery — and freed slaves — mirrored America's own transformation in The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

41:31

Lincoln's Evolving Thoughts On Slavery, And Freedom.

Abraham Lincoln always thought slavery was unjust — but struggled with what to do once slavery ended. Historian Eric Foner traces how Lincoln's thoughts about slavery — and freed slaves — mirrored America's own transformation in The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

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