Apple TV+'s Abraham Lincoln Documentary With Narration by Jeffrey Wright to Explore President's Complex Journey

President Abraham Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War was not easy, and the journey he took on the way to making it is the subject of a new Apple TV+ documentary series. Lincoln's Dilemma will examine the end of slavery in the U.S. from different perspectives, including the president and Frederick Douglass. The four-part series will premiere on Apple TV+ Friday, Feb. 18, just a few days before Presidents' Day on Feb. 21.

Lincoln's Dilemma is based on historian David S. Reynolds' book Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times, and will include interviews with journalists, educations and Lincoln scholars. It will also shine a light on rare archival materials. There will also be comments from enslaved people to provide a more well-rounded perspective on the Civil War and its causes. Jeffrey Wright serves as the narrator, while Bill Camp and Leslie Odom Jr. voice Lincoln and Douglass, respectively.

The series also promises to provide a more well-rounded portrait of Lincoln as a "shrewd, bawdy, eloquent, melancholy, shape-shifting" man who was influenced by the times he lived in. Lincoln's Dilemma "will show that Lincoln's greatest gift was an ability to integrate so many of the cultural trade winds of the 19th century and feed them back to different constituencies at different moments," reads the synopsis.

Jacqueline Olive and Barak Goodman are the directors of the series. It was produced by Eden Productions and Kunhardt Films. Olive and Goodman are also executive producers, alongside Peter Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt, George Kunhardt, Josh Tyrangiel, Richard Plepler, and Jelani Cobb. Lincoln's Dilemma is the latest documentary on Apple TV+, which is also home to Boys State, The Velvet Underground, Beastie Boys Story, and Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry.


Lincoln was president from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, freeing slaves in the Union states. It went into effect in the former Confederate states after the Civil War ended. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution formally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as a punishment for a crime in December 1865. Lincoln has been the subject of countless movies, television shows, and books.