3 months ago
I'm not much of a TV watcher, so I didn't see Ken Burns' Civil War series until its third or fourth run o PBS. Amazingly, I remember very little about it. I do remember watching the first installment of his Baseball series, and I was so immediately appalled at his MISTAKES that I never watched anything else of his. Nothing. My husband was furious with my comments about Baseball, claiming Burns was a documentarian, for crying out loud, until the next day's newspapers bore out my criticisms. And now I see Burns is under fire for whitewashing Vietnam, for catering to his corporate sponsors' need not to be labelled the bad guys.
Maybe he should be called a docutainer, when what we need are more Foners and Horwitzes and Loewenses and Liftons and Mitchells.
Chris' Fish Place
3 months ago
The only Burns thing I like is the Civil War one. The other ones borrow for some reason. Though I haven't seen the Baseball one because it was about baseball. The thing about Vietnam doesn't surprise me though. We really do more Lowens and Foners and Horwitzs. I think I need to go look up the other ones.
2 months ago
It's telling that Burns prefers to label himself a storyteller rather than a historian. He's trying to provide a narrative that is as appealing to as broad a swath of his audience as is possible. I find I still learn something from his documentaries (the value of his newest one for me lies in his depiction of the Vietnamese, who've been marginalized in most American works about the war), but they definitely need to be taken with a dose of salt.
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