Tag Archives: Ken Burns

The Ken Burns Effect

Lest anyone underestimate the importance of Ken Burns’ The Civil War, take a second to study this graph:

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Thoughts on Ken Burns: Chris Kolakowski

This series really brought the war to life in a human way for me. It still holds up all these years later, and will do so for a long time to come. In that sense it belongs in the category … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Ken Burns’ The Civil War: Dan Davis

I know there has been a lot of discussion on this blog and others this week on the re-release of Ken Burns’ The Civil War. I know that the documentary means a lot of things to a lot of people, but I … Continue reading

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Ken Burns From the ECW Archives

As we continue this week to explore the legacy of Ken Burns’ The Civil War as it airs on PBS for its 25th anniversary, consider taking a dip into ECW’s archives for a look at what we’ve written about it … Continue reading

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Eastern Theater versus Western Theater: Where the Civil War Was Won and Lost: The Conclusion to a Series

The conclusion of a series. This series was put together from one of my extended graduate school research papers. The sources used were the current research between 2007-2008, obviously the historiography of the Civil War expands on a monthly basis, … Continue reading

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Does the American Civil War Need a Theme Song?

Like so many, I have been captivated by the mournfully lovely tune “Ashokan Farewell.” I am sure most of us first heard it when we were watching Ken Burns’s The Civil War, and wondered about it. I knew I had … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: “Story is a central component of ‘history'”

Part eight in a series The ability to evoke emotion easily stands out as The Civil War’s greatest strength: From its opening shot of a canon silhouetted against a fire-orange sky and the use of the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Communicating “the incommunicable experience of war”

Part seven in a series “We have shared the incommunicable experience of war,” Oliver Wendell Holmes says at the beginning of Ken Burns’ documentary The Civil War. Burns could not have picked a more appropriate quote to start his film … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: The Civil War’s great storyteller

Part six in a series. No written work embodies the tension between art and history more fully than Shelby Foote’s mammoth three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative. Few people realize Foote was a novelist before he became the “warm and … Continue reading

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Telling History vs. Making Art: Killer Angels, real and fictional

Part five in a series. In my last post, I began to discuss Michael Shaara’s aesthetic choices for constructing The Killer Angels as he did, and how he adopted a Lost Cause-interpretation of Robert E. Lee as a central choice … Continue reading

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