Nancy Glass Interview: CNN’s Lincoln: Divided We Stand

Nancy Glass talks about discovering the inclined, formative humanity at the center of the superb American legend of President Abraham Lincoln.

The United States is bitterly divided. Television pundits and historic scholars argue it could be the most turbulent time in the usa since the Civil War. That bitter and bloody bankruptcy of American records might also had been the stop of the American experiment keep for the leadership of one guy, President Abraham Lincoln. He is remembered as The Great Emancipator, the person Divided that ended slavery and preserved the Union even as the upward push of the Confederate States of America tore the u . s . a . apart. Lincoln’s tale is so epic, it’s easy to forget that below Divided 200 years of myth and legend, Abraham Lincoln changed into just a guy, like every body else.

The new CNN documentary collection, Lincoln: Divided We Stand, examines the historical significance of Abraham Lincoln via evaluating his first rate achievements and struggles together with his humble upbringing and early adversities, looking for to discover how a running elegance boy from a log cabin in Kentucky grew up to emerge as one of the maximum important figures inside the history of America. To recognize this imaginative and prescient, the collection features interviews with numerous historical scholars, enormous reenactments of pivotal moments from Lincoln’s life, and a keen eye closer to connecting disregarded details from Lincoln’s youngsters to his mythical presidential feats. The whole adventure is tied collectively via narration from This Is Us big name Sterling K. Brown.

Lincoln: Divided We Stand is produced by means of the Glass Entertainment Group, led by using CEO Nancy Glass. While selling the release of the series, Glass spoke to Screen Rant approximately her paintings at the series and her ardour for the secret history of one among America’s most crucial figures. She reflects on the notion of seeing Presidents as larger-than-lifestyles icons and the way treasured it is to locate the prone humanity beneath, given that that is Divided what informs the importance of their greater excessive-profile accomplishments. She additionally talks approximately operating with CNN and how critical it was to take precautions to make the manufacturing as secure as viable at some stage in the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Lincoln: Divided We Stand debuts Sunday, February 14 on CNN.

I watched the first episode of the collection. I love interviewing movie stars and administrators and all that, but my dream interview could be someone like Jon Meacham. I love the idea of seeing American records within the context of the President.

You recognize, via the way, Jon Meacham is so humorous. I went to hear him communicate. I’m a massive fan, I read the entirety he writes. I’m with you on that.

I’ve been to the Lincoln Memorial once, and I was moved. I saw the statue of George Washington, that Greek-fashion issue with the muscle tissues and the ripped abs on the Smithsonian. It’s a bit ridiculous, but it nonetheless inspired me like not anything else, you know what I mean?

I do, yes I do.

Do we Divided need a window of time wherein we can deify certain Presidents?

I suppose what Lincoln does, this docuseries, is give you the human facet of Lincoln. We cover all the stuff we have already heard, however we get into the actual details behind them. You find out such things as, he wasn’t an abolitionist. It’s one of a kind. You discover approximately all the tragedies in his life. His youngsters demise, being deserted, being beaten up through his father due to the fact he wanted to get an education… By the manner, did you like the first episode?

Oh yeah. I idea it was superb. When you get to a sure factor in time, there’s a degree of interpretation. There’s no witnesses. There’s no video tape. There’s no candid images. It’s exciting to peer unique historians contradict each other whilst digging in the direction of the fact. There’s a lot fable, and there is a person someplace beneath there.

Yes, honestly. We had 22 Lincoln students. Some of the kingdom’s maximum authoritative Lincoln specialists. We had Pulitzer Prize authors, political commentators, professors, civil rights leaders… It turned into thrilling to get their input, to get their takes, to help us construct this biography.

The coolest president in my lifetime turned into Obama. He became cool, he had a hip image. But while you ask approximately his report on, say, gay rights, and how he had to “evolve” on that issue, it’s kind of one of these matters wherein you don’t necessarily need to acknowledge how backwards that seems now. We would possibly need to wait till he’s been lifeless for two decades earlier than we can definitely criticize him for taking so long to completely advocate homosexual marriage.

But you realize what? I think the truth that you may evolve makes you cooler. It’s clean to stick with what you have got usually believed. It’s lots tougher to say, “You recognize what? I’m going to reconsider this.” I respect any individual a great deal extra, who’s inclined to reconsider. I genuinely think that is what made Lincoln a incredible guy; his ability to have a look at something and move, “Maybe I were given this incorrect.”

Yeah, it really is a brilliant manner to look it. There’s an mindset of, “Never make an apology, by no means compromise.” Then how are you going to grow? Were you already fully formed and ideal, you by no means had to study whatever on your entire life?

That’s proper, this is proper. You see? It’s interesting. Obviously, you are a completely considerate character…


So you’ve notion this thru. I hope that humans looking it’s going to assume it thru, also. By admitting what we do not know, by in search of solutions, we are able to come to better conclusions than those we’ve got routinely assigned to situations. I’m certain you’ve found out that as a journalist. You go into an interview, you think one aspect, and with the aid of the give up, you realise, “Oh my God, that’s what’s happening!”

Sure. I always have notes and questions written down, however I’ll simplest use a fraction of them, because the communication is going to head where it’ll cross.

That’s so humorous, I do the identical component. And that’s what we kind of applied to Lincoln. We had a very interesting process. Everybody at the team of workers of the show, all of us picked a gaggle of books to examine. We all read specific books, and then got here together and debated out what the crucial factors were in his life, and the way we have been going to get there. We debated out the timeline, what had been the essential things to cowl. Everybody got here at it from a one-of-a-kind location, due to the fact we all had different literary and ancient references.

Something I’ve always been curious approximately is whether or not a President has to form records, or in the event that they should renowned the history round them and guide their u . s . a . thru that. My query for you is, should all and sundry had been Lincoln? Or did Lincoln enact records in a manner that would have best been accomplished via him?

Wow, what a very good query. Hmm… No. I suppose it needed to be Lincoln. Look, if you observe the whole lot that goes on in the international, there are folks that become heroes, as stars, and as villains. And I guess you need to have their specific makeup to become one of those matters. But again, there are elements of Divided it, because of his historic importance, because of the modifications he made, matters he enacted, there are testimonies we do not tell. One of the thrilling components of the complete tale is Mary.

Yeah, she had a tough move of it.

I always ask people, “Did you think Mary turned into loopy?” And they will say, “Oh, sure.” But I do not assume she became. If you examine the whole lot about what happened to her in her existence, she become a difficult cookie. When her husband died, her united states turned on her. And her youngsters died, and the united states stored turning on her. One of the tales that we informed in our first meeting with CNN when we were pitching this became, I requested what they idea of Mary, and quite a few people concept she might be crazy. Here’s the tale: She’s in her lodge room, and there is a knock on the door. At this point in her lifestyles, her husband is dead and three of her four sons are useless. The guy at the door is a person she knows thoroughly, and he says, “Mary, I’m right here to arrest you. You are being arrested and charged with insanity. Get dressed, due to the fact you’ll trial right now.” She’s in surprise. She walks throughout the street to her trial, and an entire jury is seated, composed of a number of the maximum distinguished human beings in Chicago. People who recognize they may be there to convict her. She is aware of the judge due to her husband’s regulation exercise. She’s been appointed a attorney she knows. Then she sees the prosecutor, and the man sitting subsequent to him is her son, Robert Lincoln.

The only one left.



He became embarrassed by using his mother. He was embarrassed with the aid of his mom’s regular insistence on having cash. She turned into not supported via the government the way she desired to. She became a shopaholic. She turned into an obsessive compulsive. And she turned into form of a loudmouth. So he wanted her put away, and he despatched her to a sanitarium. But she become so smart, she found a manner to get to the first, as they called her, “Lady Lawyer” within the United States, who labored on and sooner or later succeeded in getting her launched. There’s all sorts of outstanding stories. One of the other memories I additionally cherished became the tale of Lincoln and his sister being left alone for a whole iciness even as his father goes out to discover a wife. And lo and behold, the woman who comes home together with his father is a lady who believes in learning and books. And you saw, his father hit him whilst we would read. His father did not want him to examine. That’s not what you will count on to be inside the heritage of someone who had so much man or woman and became a amazing and forgiving guy.

He had any such big legacy, such macro concerns, that there have been other things, greater non-public matters, the things that history could no longer necessarily recollect, could inevitably fall with the aid of the wayside as soon as his story receives too massive for a small degree.

And these had been the matters that shaped his lifestyles. I suppose, by means of providing you with that context, it makes him even extra interesting. Even the things surrounding him. In the collection, we communicate approximately the Battle of Bull Run, which become a picnic. People notion that first battle turned into going to ultimate about an hour, so they showed up for lunch to watch the conflict. Then, it occurred, and infantrymen had been slaughtered. The humans sitting there, having a picnic, got up and ran. There’s a whole lot of exciting information.

That’s a mainly crucial anecdote, because we’ve visible play-appearing of civil warfare in the headlines. I suggest, not to get too political or whatever. Ahem.


Dissent and secession and treason is a few kind of a laugh drama to watch with popcorn… And then it truely takes place, and people are killed, and arrested and sent to prison and anything we are going to see manifest inside the destiny, handiest then does it become “actual.”

It’s exciting, too, because when he became elected the second time, they referred to as him the Ape from Illinois. Washington was inside the South, and southerners just hated him! He walked into Confederate territory after a struggle, with his son, and they looked around. That’s now not something you can do today, obviously. I discovered so much placing this together. It become sincerely joyous.

Yeah. The way I see it, records is constantly going in the route it is going. You cannot stop it. Sometimes you may slow it down, but all of us have a choice to rail in opposition to it or lead human beings towards it, towards the destiny. Progressiveness is such a dirty word in a few circles, and Lincoln had to type of trick human beings into accepting a brand new age.

Obviously, you believe you studied very deeply. I desire that humans watch it’ll assume as deeply as you do, despite the fact that I suspect your deep questioning is herbal. Well, as a author, I bet you need to be! It turned into an thrilling challenge, it’s fun to do all of the research. I know a variety of human beings don’t assume studies is amusing, but it really is. You discover these thrilling nuggets. And also, it changed into a herculean shoot.

Oh proper, we didn’t even contact on all the reenactments and stuff!

We needed to shoot it through all the Covid-19 quarantines. A bulk of the filming became in August, and we had 150 people on the set. Nobody got sick, thank God. We social distanced, we examined like loopy. It made it very tough.

I pay attention it’s extraordinarily pricey to shoot anything. I realize a variety of smaller productions are just postponed indefinitely due to the fact they do not need to double or triple their budgets while not having any of that money performing on the screen, so to speak.

That’s authentic, however CNN is specific. CNN have been like, “Be safe, do what you can. Let us recognize what it fees.” They definitely care about what takes place, and that they virtually care about people. I assume it really is unusual for a news enterprise, however they truly care approximately human beings. And they have been very worried that we do not do something to hazard anybody. We had been lucky. We took all the precautions, however you may never be too secure.

Nancy, it has been such a treat to talk to you. I can not wait to look the relaxation of the show, and I wish I get to capture you on the next one!

I hope it starts offevolved conversations, that is what I really hope. I hope it starts offevolved conversations, and gets people fascinated, and I desire it maintains viewers engaged!

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About The Author

Zak Wojnar(955 Articles Published)

Zak Wojnar is a author from New York City. He’s blanketed the entirety from video games and movies to maple syrup and deli business. Thanks to Screen Rant, he’s found his most recent ardour, interviewing artists. He takes extraordinary joy in letting movie and gaming legends inform their very own tale and share their ardour for their artwork.

Zak’s first reminiscence goes with his dad to Tower Records and shopping for the VHS boxed set of the unique Star Wars trilogy. Over the following decade or so, those tapes could be completely worn out via overuse. When he is not preparing for the subsequent big interview, he can generally be found sitting too near the TV, both re-watching Miami Vice or The X-Files, or getting lost in a video game.

Zak has bylines at Game Informer, Muscle & Fitness, PopCultureGalaxy, Men’s Fitness, Cheese Connoisseur, and Deli Business (see, that wasn’t a funny story before!), among others.

Follow and engage with him on Twitter @ZakWojnar.

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