Old-Time Stuff Is Not Forgotten on "History"Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
THE big names — Fort Sumter, Gettysburg, Lee, Grant — are getting much of the focus during television’s Civil War spring and summer, as they always do when this pivotal conflict comes up. But to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, the programming that resumes with a burst this weekend and continues over the next several months also has much smaller things on its mind: a child’s doll, an aging tintype, a faded letter. And it is those things, 19th-century artifacts elevated to new prominence by a 21st-century television trend, that provide some of the clearest reminders of what the war was really about and how it remains with us today.
Finding new ways to look at the war is, of course, a sort of Ken Burns effect — an effort to clear the bar that Mr. Burns set so high in 1990 with his mini-series “The Civil War.” Mr. Burns, for one, doesn’t think the form is dead.
“I think there are still stories to be told,” he said. “The Civil War is such a watershed moment, the watershed moment in the childhood of our country.” Yes, there are limits on such documentaries — there’s only so much you can do with still photographs and diaries — but that doesn’t mean there can’t be innovation. “It just forces us into new relationships with photographs, new relationships with voice, new relationships with narrative,” Mr. Burns said....
comments powered by Disqus
- The six-day war: why Israel is still divided over its legacy 50 years on
- "Space archaeology" transforms how ancient sites are discovered
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?