The copious material on the war and its principal personalities, especially General Ulysses S. Grant, will be a delight to Civil War buffs, and material about how Lincoln conducted the war (enraging his many enemies in the process) may surprise some viewers. Indeed, in his own time, Lincoln was hardly the icon he later became, and this documentary presents him flaws and all. This is a magnificent historical documentary that, despite its length, is never less than thoroughly absorbing. --Robert J. McNamara
This four hour VHS biography is very well done. It does jump around a bit, but the jumping is always done in context of the story being told. Kind of the video equivalent of someone saying "to tell this story in all it's richness, let me back up a bit here and tell you some of the history..."
It appears Mary Todd and Abe Lincoln truly had a love affair, albeit a tempestuous one. They also loved their children and were devoted to their family, yet Lincoln had nothing to do with his own father after ascending to the Presidency. Mary Todd had no sadness upon learning her half-brother had died fighting for the Confederacy, yet showed her half-sister, whose husband died on the Confederate side, the most tender solicitude.
As has been said of all good biographies, and can be said of this VHS bio, this really shows all sides of Lincoln - "warts and all."
A real bonus are the voices used to tell the story of Lincoln's life. The beautiful rich voice of James Earl Jones provides the primary narration, but a laundry list of stars such as Richard Dreyfuss, Glenn Close, Oprah Winfrey and and many others narrate the anecdotes and reminiscences of Lincoln's friends, family and adviors.
This biography is well done, informative, engaging and entertaining and shows the many sides of Lincoln.
The only difficulty one might have is that the video often jumps around through Lincoln's life. One moment they are talking about the Emancipation Proclamation and slavery issues and then the video jumps back 5 years to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates.
Overall, though, the series is well-produced and has wonderful narration, photography, and includes discussion by Lincoln historian David Herbert Donald.