Peter S. Carmichael, the director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, was quoted in a Jan. 17 Salon article on Steven Spielberg's recent film, "Lincoln."
“Lincoln” can best be understood, perhaps, as an example of Hollywood’s quest for truth, limiting its scope to known knowns — Lincoln did, in fact, preside over the rough-and-tumble passage of the 13th Amendment, and was indeed a forcefully charismatic and visionary individual — while eliding that which is more complicated. Peter S. Carmichael, the director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, praised the film for depicting the process of arm-twisting and vote-buying that went into passing the law. “Today, cynicism prevails because there’s no sense of history and how our system functions. When people confront corruption today, they think we somehow lost the purity of our government. ‘Lincoln’ should remind people that democracy is impure, hopelessly corrupt, but out of that can come powerful and inspiring change.”