American Experience (1988– )
7.7/10
49
2 user 1 critic

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln 

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
John Wilkes Booth (as Guy W. Gane III)
Jason Roberts ...
Alexander Fedorchak ...
Garman Bowers ...
Union Cavalry Officer
Gregory Labenz ...
Union Cavalry Officer (as Greg Labenz)
William Buser ...
Union Cavalry Officer
...
Union Cavalry Officer
Grant Mudge ...
Swordfighters
Joseph Carlson ...
Swordfighters
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Terry Alford ...
Himself
Amos Lee Beiler
David Blight ...
Himself
Caleb Brinson
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
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Release Date:

9 February 2009 (USA)  »

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(DVD)
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User Reviews

 
Nice Job.
7 December 2015 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I don't know that there's so much that's new in this presentation but it gives the viewer the general picture with just enough detail to be convincing and colorful.

We know, of course, that John Wilkes Booth climbed the stairs of Ford's Theater in Washington in April of 1865 and shot Lincoln through the head, killing him. "Now he belongs to the ages," said Secretary Stanton at the bedside. It's curious that one hundred and fifty years later the tragedy is still so moving. At least for some of us. For others, Lincoln remains the hated tyrant.

It's curious too that in murdering Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth effectively screwed up the reconstruction of his beloved South. Lincoln had intended that the Confederate states be welcomed back "as if they'd never left," or, as he put it in his second inaugural address, "with malice towards none and charity towards all." In Lincoln's place, the nation found itself with Andrew Johnson from Tennessee, a man who thought that the South should be just what it was before the war -- the Big House surrounded by cotton fields and slaves' quarters -- except that now the slaves would be paid servants. Of course the failure of Reconstruction wasn't all Johnson's fault but it's likely that the process would have been better handled under Lincoln.

Neither Booth, his supporters, or those who hailed him as a hero had failed to ask themselves what we don't bother asking ourselves today. If you remove a "tyrant," who are you going to replace him with?


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