In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, professors Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Drew Gilpin Faust examine the unprecedented slaughter of the Civil War and the psychological toll it exacted on the man most directly responsible for it—President Abraham Lincoln. They explain how Lincoln recognized that such bloodshed could only be redeemed by elevating the justification of the war from the political ideal of union to the moral imperative of abolition. Former President Clinton then helps contextualize Lincoln’s finest expression of that new, higher cause–the Gettysburg Address.
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