• A Holocaust Mystery: Ken Burns Gets Lost in a Bermuda Triangle

    by Rafael Medoff and Monty N. Penkower

    At the 1943 Bermuda Conference, British and American diplomats offered a symbolic show of concern for Jewish refugees, but made no substantial commitment to help. Ken Burns's recent holocaust documentary passes over this event. 

  • Ken Burns Got "Prohibition" Wrong

    by Mark Lawrence Schrad

    Burns largely accepts an individualistic and libertarian narrative of prohibition as a misbegotten campaign of moral scolds, missing the reformist, egalitarian, and humane demands of the movement and the exploitative nature of the "liquor traffic" it sought to disrupt. 

  • Burns Revisits American Holocaust Role

    The new documentary examines the nation's response to Jewish refugees in the context of Southern Jim Crow policies and global racism and antisemitism. 

  • The Unbearable Whiteness of Ken Burns

    by Timothy Messer-Kruse

    In the context of today's battles over teaching the history of racism in America, the new Franklin documentary unfortunately uses its subject to spin a narrative of national self-correction that ignores historians' attention to conflict and struggle. 

  • New Documentary Highlights Unsolved Civil Rights-Era Murder

    Black citizens in Natchez, Mississippi secretly organized for community self-defense in 1965, risking certain reprisals from local whites. Wharlest Jackson was killed by a car bomb in an act of intimidation that was never solved. 

  • Ken Burns's Documentary Shows We Can't Quit Ali

    by Jay Caspian Kang

    "The odd thing about American sainthood is that we seem to prefer those who, like Ali and Jackie Robinson, did not engage directly in the dirty world of politics, but rather stood as trailblazers or icons in sports or Hollywood."

  • Ken Burns Argues He's not "Taking Up Too Much Space"

    The documentarian joins Kara Swisher's "Sway" podcast, focusing on how digital technology is changing the practice of reconstructing the past and whether Burns's films are taking too much airtime as PBS seeks to diversify its stable of producers.