This series does not play sides in the way one would expect with the aftermath of the assassination of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. The proper way of government, and the improper way also, are examined for the viewer.

Two things come to mind, for me. I can understand why an actor like John Wilkes Booth shot the President Abe Lincoln. That understanding is not taken in a moralistic way, but a humanistic emotional view of how people make decisions void of right or wrong, good or bad. And I can also understand why the former black slaves of a nation like the United States, after the war, got the shaft from one of the worst presidents of the United States, Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor. Believe it or not, America, after the war between the states, was not to do all for this group of “citizens” and the fight for equality would not end with Appomattox Court House. It still, in many ways, today, has still not been finalized, as of the way things go today.

As for the production values, which are high, a nice take on Edwin Stanton, War Secretary under Lincoln and Johnson, as portrayed by standout actor Tobias Menzies, shines. A thought and historically correct screenplay by six top writers from the source material of James L. Swanson, this presentation is outstanding in every respect. As of the way the Federal government went after those responsible for the killing of Lincoln, we can tie those actions of 1865 and of those today in how citizen rights are trampled into the ground as of the issues involved. Blacks of the time are deceived upon by the Johnson presidency, and the folks that got in the way of Booth got theirs’s too. A thought-provoking look at our government, then, today, and what the future brings is never a dull subject.

Maybe, in a long take of the day, it would have been better that William T. Sherman took his army of the West and pulled a coup d’état, and crowned himself King of the United States in 1865. Sherman had the power, which included the strongest Army in the world and the backing of a majority of citizens in the country, to get it done. We shall never know. But President Johnson and War Secretary Stanton were about to “crap” their pants as of the nature of the time in Washington, DC. Four and one half stars out of five stars on my Letterboxd review.


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