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Old 09-28-2007   #1
Tom Odom
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Default On PBS: The War

In case you missed it--I stumbled across it and caught two episodes and want to catch more--PBS has been showing The War a documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

It is on this month and next in these 7 episodes:
EPISODE ONE: “A Necessary War”
EPISODE TWO: “When Things Get Tough”
EPISODE THREE: “A Deadly Calling”
EPISODE FOUR: “Pride of Our Nation”
EPISODE FIVE: “FUBAR”
EPISODE SIX: “The Ghost Front”
EPISODE SEVEN: “A World Without War”

You can download a very well done veiwer's guide here


Based on what I saw in the two sessions (2 hours plus for each) this is truly a world class film series. The historical film used is stunning--most of it entirely new to me and I have seen a lot of documentaries on WWII.

You also buy the series from PBS.

The below was a download wallpaper offered free that I resized.

best

Tom
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Old 09-28-2007   #2
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Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
In case you missed it--I stumbled across it and caught two episodes and want to catch more--PBS has been showing The War a documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

It is on this month and next in these 7 episodes:
EPISODE ONE: “A Necessary War”
EPISODE TWO: “When Things Get Tough”
EPISODE THREE: “A Deadly Calling”
EPISODE FOUR: “Pride of Our Nation”
EPISODE FIVE: “FUBAR”
EPISODE SIX: “The Ghost Front”
EPISODE SEVEN: “A World Without War”

You can download a very well done veiwer's guide here


Based on what I saw in the two sessions (2 hours plus for each) this is truly a world class film series. The historical film used is stunning--most of it entirely new to me and I have seen a lot of documentaries on WWII.

You also buy the series from PBS.

The below was a download wallpaper offered free that I resized.

best

Tom

Evening, Tom !
Great Post ! I look forward to checking it out.

Can't make out the rifle clearly. May have something to do with the last 7 beers, but I doubt it !

Regards, Stan
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Old 09-28-2007   #3
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Hey bud

That would be an M1; the pic was taken at Saipan.

Only 7? Oh, the last 7...

The 2 I wtached were excellent. I never saw a Hellcat fighter have its engine melt on deck as it landed --even as the engine kept turning over. Lot's new color film and excellent interviews.

Best

Tom
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Old 10-01-2007   #4
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It's an excellant series - ground, air, Europe, the S. Pacific and the home front, all well done. they sure had different ROE back then, that's for sure.

The episode I just saw told about the all-Japanese unit in Europe - the 442 Bn if memory serves me right, and gave them just due for their action, which was good to see. What I found hilarious was the segment on the Crow Indian guy from Montana who actually stold some horses from the Germans - he fashioned a hackamore bridle from some rope, jumped on his mount and stampeded the rest - this guy carried an eagle feather in his helment and told the interviewer that he always painted some red stripes on his arm under his uniform prior to going out on patrol, recon, etc. - some things never change it seems.

Last edited by goesh; 10-01-2007 at 03:09 PM. Reason: extra blurb
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Old 10-01-2007   #5
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Ken Burns was on the Daily Show recently. Sept. 27, I think. Pretty good interview. He comes across as a smart, passionate guy. Spent 6 years on this, digging through archives and interviewing vets. Haven't seen it, but will try to do so now.
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Old 10-01-2007   #6
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What I found hilarious was the segment on the Crow Indian guy from Montana who actually stold some horses from the Germans - he fashioned a hackamore bridle from some rope, jumped on his mount and stampeded the rest - this guy carried an eagle feather in his helment and told the interviewer that he always painted some red stripes on his arm under his uniform prior to going out on patrol, recon, etc. - some things never change it seems.
I watched that one too and you came to mind, mate

I figured you would get a kick out of that one.

Much honesty in the series interviews, some of it brutal. The 442d and the 100th were tied at the hip by the time they were in southern France. Simply amazing units.

Best

Tom
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Old 10-02-2007   #7
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Ken Burns was on the Daily Show recently. Sept. 27, I think. Pretty good interview. He comes across as a smart, passionate guy. Spent 6 years on this, digging through archives and interviewing vets. Haven't seen it, but will try to do so now.


Here is my reaction to the interview on the Daily Show (and The War)

1. He is arrogant, and it is not justified.
2. He acted as if his documentary was the first to show the personal horrors of war. Not all but many documentaries have covered this aspect but along with the technical side of the war. Showing one without the other is manipulative. Also, as he has even said in some of his interviews is an "artist." Where an artist differs form a historian (the people who have made or at least greatly influenced the production most documentaries on WWII) is that an artist "reflects" an issue or event. This means it is slightly distorted and from a perceived view. When a good historian or academic attempts to show history it is more of a photograph. All attempts are made to avoid distortion (which is inevitable.) Again, many historians do distort things, but there have been some who have done a fine job.
3. It was more of a collage than a documentary.
4. I find his choice of towns odd. (music too!) First, you need atleast one big city otherwise you are missing a large portion of America. Then for the best cross section you would need a fishing town, a mining town and an agricultural town.
5. How did this take him seven years? With seven years he could have covered a lot more and done a better job. With seven years it should be a masterpiece.
6. He is not the first guy to bring out the color archives. The History Channel did it back a little before 2000 if I remember correctly. Also, I very much disagree with his opinion that somehow the color film gives it greater impact. Personally I find that it gives it less. Early color photography looks, in all honesty, almost fake due to the color distortion. Black and white film at the time was far more advanced, and cinematically is more devastating and dramatic (this is why they filmed "The Longest Day" in black and white.) Regardless of this, something is seriously wrong if people don't get a reaction out of black and white film.
7. When somebody tries to emotionally manipulate you (well, actually me) it tends to back fire. I find it some how offensive when people find it necessary to dramatize something that is already over dramatic in reality. If people are so incapable of having an emotion without being told what it is something is terribly wrong (We wonder why this nations young are so out of it?) This is why I didn't like Saving Private Ryan (also, the poor script) and Schindler's List. Both movies beat people over the head with a message and a point. They both made propaganda films look settle. Also, Spielberg needs to stay away from film noire. Normandy in the rain and Auschwitz (of course) are dark enough you don't need to magnify it.
8. I guess the point I am making is that Ken Burns mad more of a "film" (as Tom called it) than a good documentary. I really feel it just doesn't rank up there with the good stuff.
9. Also, why does he feel vets didn't talk about the bad side of the war and the incompetence until Brokaw wrote his book? I have seen a lot of documentaries predating that and they certainly dealt with both of those issues.
10. I have to comment that I have never heard any, and I mean any, vet or reasonable person call WWII a "good war" in the sense he implied. They meant just if anything. Unfortunately we can't use "righteous" as Churchill and Roosevelt would have said due to people confusing this word with "self-righteousness" and imperialism.
11. To spend seven years on this and represent only the U.S. population (a myopic portion at that) is inexcusable.
13. He portrays pre-war America in a very rosy picture. The economy was bad, unemployment was high and the government was almost bankrupt. People in those four towns may not have felt it, but a lot of America was very depressed.
12. I'm sure I will think of more complaints, but I'll have to save them for my next post.

Sorry, if I offended anyone with my harsh criticism. I have very high standards for stuff like this in great part because I hate to see so much time and research on something so important turn into a mediocre project. Also, I know I am going to piss off a lot of people with my comments about Saving Private Ryan and Schindlers List, but as I said I am a harsh critic and I often object to things for less common reasons so please don't judge me on this.

Adam

P.S. Try to see the Daily Show interview (if you haven't.) You might see what I am getting at. I find this guy to be almost everything I dislike about the rise of psuedo-intellectuals [I talked about this on my extra-long (2 part) post in the Officer Retention thread.] I also guess I find it insulting that he assumes (although he's probably right these days with the educational sytem) that everyone is as ignorant as he was when it comes to the realities of war. Sorry about the soapbox .

Last edited by Adam L; 10-02-2007 at 06:56 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-02-2007   #8
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"10. I have to comment that I have never heard any, and I mean any, vet or reasonable person call WWII a "good war" in the sense he implied." (Adam L)

I think this comes from the perspective that the vast majority of Americans were unified in their effort to fight and get it over with as soon as possible - there was little division and bickering and it was "good" only in this sense - things seemed clearer in those times, a common focus and real unity. There were lines and combatants wore uniforms, good and bad, enemy and ally.

"11. To spend seven years on this and represent only the U.S. population (a myopic portion at that) is inexcusable." (Adam L)

What's wrong with portraying America's contribution only and primarily for the American audience? We gave several hundred thousand lives for the rest of the world back then so we sure the hell aren't obligated to be tipping our hats to allies every time the war is mentioned. Let the French and English and Russians do theirs if they want, the world is not just one big feel good village.
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Old 10-02-2007   #9
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Here's a news flash: Ken Burns has always been like this, Adam. I haven't seen this yet, but that's more because of my objections to how Burns has always handled his subjects. But if it gets people interesting to digging for themselves, then I think it's accomplished something good.

I do agree with Goesh, though. Not everything done has to include everyone or everything.

I've also never been a fan of Saving Private Ryan.

But, with all this stuff, YMMV. And if either The War or SPR gets someone who wasn't interested in history before seeing them interested and digging for himself or herself into the actual events, then they've done some good. If it sparks that mysterious "why" and gets someone looking for an answer, it's done more than the MTV Music Awards ever will.
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Old 10-02-2007   #10
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2. He acted as if his documentary was the first to show the personal horrors of war. Not all but many documentaries have covered this aspect but along with the technical side of the war. Showing one without the other is manipulative. Also, as he has even said in some of his interviews is an "artist." Where an artist differs form a historian (the people who have made or at least greatly influenced the production most documentaries on WWII) is that an artist "reflects" an issue or event. This means it is slightly distorted and from a perceived view. When a good historian or academic attempts to show history it is more of a photograph. All attempts are made to avoid distortion (which is inevitable.) Again, many historians do distort things, but there have been some who have done a fine job.
Good historians do much more than show historical events as a photograph. History is about people doing things, not just a cataloging of res gestae, things done. As a result, good history must explain what it is that the people involved in the historical event were thinking and feeling as well as what they did. Good history explains what problems the historical actors needed to solve. Good history then proceeds to explain what process(es) the actors used to come to a decision about how to resolve those problems. As the historian makes these points clear, good history goes on to explain/describe the actions taken to bring the problems to resolution.
(While my exposition implies that the process of portraying the contents of good history is linear, the actual exposition by the historian need not be so. One could easily report on what happened and then do the causal explanation of why the historical agent(s) felt compelled to act in the way described. This is a question of style rather than a question of necessary and sufficient content.)

In the sense that I have just described it, good history includes portrayals that are akin to both good art and to good scientific exposition. I suspect that the PBS piece is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between good history and bad history. The PBS piece is also, first and foremost, entertainment.

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10. I have to comment that I have never heard any, and I mean any, vet or reasonable person call WWII a "good war" in the sense he implied. They meant just if anything. Unfortunately we can't use "righteous" as Churchill and Roosevelt would have said due to people confusing this word with "self-righteousness" and imperialism.
I suspect you may well be right. What I see as operative here is the real point of Sherman's famous dictum, "War is hell." No war is good, in the sense that what happens in war is pretty horrific. However, some wars are "right" to fight and are, in that sense, good. The distinction is between why one fights and how one fights. I suspect that Sherman was focused on the actions subsequent to the declaration of war, which are indeed terrible.
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Old 10-02-2007   #11
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I haven't seen all the episodes, but I did catch most of it on Sunday evening where they were covering the Marine landings at Peleliu and Operation Market Garden. I'll definitely watch the series in its entirety when it comes out on DVD.

Don't like Burns' work or his work on the Civil War? Fine, feel free to produce your own.

As for not including a comprehensive history of all fronts of the war, dealing with all peoples, well, that is just ridiculous. I believe his intention is to get at what the American experience in the war was, from the home front to the men at the front, with a fair amount of social history mixed in. This isn't just about the movement of troops from this point to that on a map. For example, how the Soviets mobilized and responded to "The Great Patriotic War" is just outside the scope of what he is trying to do here.
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Old 10-02-2007   #12
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Don't like Burns' work or his work on the Civil War? Fine, feel free to produce your own.
So I don't care for Burns' work. Big deal. It gets other people thinking about history...talking about history...and looking into it for themselves. That, to me, is the important part. The old BBC series "The World at War" was an earlier version of the same idea...putting faces and images to what for many might have been colored dots on a map. Burns doesn't have a corner on the market any more than Ambrose did the printed version. Again, to me the important part is that both men get others interested in history...people who might not have looked at it otherwise.

IMO good history also frames the context for events and the decisions of the actors. It tries as much as possible to take the "20/20 hindsight" out of events to show what people might have seen (and didn't see) at the time.

The term "The Good War" came into popular use with Turkel's oral history, but I suspect it was around before that. The meaning, I think, came down it being a fairly clear-cut "good versus evil" sort of conflict...something that was much more blurred in Korea and Vietnam.
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Old 10-02-2007   #13
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Default On the "Good War"

There is an interesting article here on the whole "good war" construct with an interesting counterpoint to Germany having fought the "bad war." BTW, my posting it here does not imply agreement with its thesis or argument.

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The United States has become a militarized society in peacetime and supports a martial pride and attendant hyperpatriotism in its mainstream culture and ethos that is reminiscent of old Prussia. As the leader of the Western world, the U.S. has built the most powerful armed forces and destructive weapons systems the world has ever seen. During the Cold War the Americans spent up to 30 percent of its budget on the military. They established an awesome global base system that allows the U.S. to project its power swiftly and devastatingly when needed. It has fought long wars in Korea and Vietnam and intervened dozens of time around the world when it saw its national interests threatened.

This acceptance of a permanent peace-time military establishment and global power projection after World War II has much to do with the hard-won victories and the subsequent American memory regime of the "good war." Actually, the cultural production in the years after the war maintained an ambivalent and darker view of the war which had dehumanized so many of its young soldiers in the epic battles in the Pacific and in Europe. Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead and Joseph Heller's Catch-22 stand for this darker view.

But since the 1980s D-Day commemorations turned uncompromisingly patriotic and the cultural production celebratory of the "greatest generation" that lived through the Depression and rose to victory during World War II. Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan and the ten-part TV series "Band of Brothers" signify a patriotic memory of World War II that celebrates the "good war." The late historian Stephen E. Ambrose has done more than anyone to enshrine this new view in his books and in the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. In the words of historian Chad Barry "the good war thesis became a powerfully seductive and intoxicating view of an idealized past and a golden age."
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Old 10-02-2007   #14
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"11. To spend seven years on this and represent only the U.S. population (a myopic portion at that) is inexcusable." (Adam L)

What's wrong with portraying America's contribution only and primarily for the American audience? We gave several hundred thousand lives for the rest of the world back then so we sure the hell aren't obligated to be tipping our hats to allies every time the war is mentioned. Let the French and English and Russians do theirs if they want, the world is not just one big feel good village.
I wasn't suggesting that it was bad to focus only on America rather that I found it ridiculous that this project took him seven years. I was commenting that I could understand how making a documentary including all countries could take seven years, but I don't know how this took that long. Also, this was a distorted view of "America's contribuiton" due to the rather odd (frankly bizzare) choice of using 4 towns (not even one real city) which do not provide a good cross section of the backgrounds of American servicemen in the war.

Adam
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Old 10-03-2007   #15
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I wasn't suggesting that it was bad to focus only on America rather that I found it ridiculous that this project took him seven years. I was commenting that I could understand how making a documentary including all countries could take seven years, but I don't know how this took that long. Also, this was a distorted view of "America's contribuiton" due to the rather odd (frankly bizzare) choice of using 4 towns (not even one real city) which do not provide a good cross section of the backgrounds of American servicemen in the war.

Adam
Adam

All of your criticsms seemed directed at Burns and only indirectly at the film. That is ok; critics should critque what bothers them. But again it was his project and he set the parameters and secured the funding for the project. His sponsors did not mind that it took 6 or 7 years.

I have no problem with the emotionalism present in the film; I personally would hate to see it presented any other way because I grew up watching veterans deal with those same emotions. I understand them quite well.

I also liked that the interviews were honest. WWII was quite brutal and the reality was something that was out there but never really addressed. As a youngster, I read a book that was literally a combat diary and after the Bulge, there were repeated statements to the effect, "The boys aren't taking prisoners, today." One of the NCOs in my very first company as a 2LT was a grumpy but motherly Master Sergeant named Burtis. He was a Raider on Guadacanal and his comments to me matched what was said about prisoners in the "long patrol." The savagery in the Pacific especially by 1944 is not something most Americans grasp. And I think it is important that they hear it--with all the emotionalism attached to it.

Why? Because it puts today in greater context and makes the strengths of our military much clearer. I know that I use Rwanda often; sue me

But I am reminded of trying to get across to a Dep Assistant Secretary the reality of the post-genocide Rwanda. She was on a tear about reprisal killings and whether they were sanctioned by the new GOR. We did not think so and said they were to be expected. I told her that if an American infantry unit was given the mission of stabilizing their hometown and all the surviving neighbors had killed the uinit's families, the results would not be pretty. That was very much what was happening all around us in Rwanda. You cannot understand it without the emotion.

Best

Tom
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Old 10-03-2007   #16
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Adam

All of your criticsms seemed directed at Burns and only indirectly at the film. That is ok; critics should critque what bothers them. But again it was his project and he set the parameters and secured the funding for the project. His sponsors did not mind that it took 6 or 7 years.

I have no problem with the emotionalism present in the film; I personally would hate to see it presented any other way because I grew up watching veterans deal with those same emotions. I understand them quite well.

I also liked that the interviews were honest. WWII was quite brutal and the reality was something that was out there but never really addressed. As a youngster, I read a book that was literally a combat diary and after the Bulge, there were repeated statements to the effect, "The boys aren't taking prisoners, today." One of the NCOs in my very first company as a 2LT was a grumpy but motherly Master Sergeant named Burtis. He was a Raider on Guadacanal and his comments to me matched what was said about prisoners in the "long patrol." The savagery in the Pacific especially by 1944 is not something most Americans grasp. And I think it is important that they hear it--with all the emotionalism attached to it.

Why? Because it puts today in greater context and makes the strengths of our military much clearer. I know that I use Rwanda often; sue me

But I am reminded of trying to get across to a Dep Assistant Secretary the reality of the post-genocide Rwanda. She was on a tear about reprisal killings and whether they were sanctioned by the new GOR. We did not think so and said they were to be expected. I told her that if an American infantry unit was given the mission of stabilizing their hometown and all the surviving neighbors had killed the uinit's families, the results would not be pretty. That was very much what was happening all around us in Rwanda. You cannot understand it without the emotion.

Best

Tom
For the most part I agree with you. My objections come from the fact that I feel it could have been done better. My complaints about his method of getting a cross section of American servicemen o believe is justified.

"I have no problem with the emotionalism present in the film; I personally would hate to see it presented any other way because I grew up watching veterans deal with those same emotions. I understand them quite well."

I agree 100%, I have no problems with the emotion in the interviews and the documentary. What I am objecting to is certain emotional ploys in the way the documentary was constructed. I find it objectionable that someone might feel, let alone that it might be necessary for most of society, that the statements of the veterans must be accompanied by dramatics in order to achieve the appropriate reaction from the viewer. I watched the documentary to listen to thier stories and their emotions, not the directors.

"But I am reminded of trying to get across to a Dep Assistant Secretary the reality of the post-genocide Rwanda. She was on a tear about reprisal killings and whether they were sanctioned by the new GOR. We did not think so and said they were to be expected. I told her that if an American infantry unit was given the mission of stabilizing their hometown and all the surviving neighbors had killed the uinit's families, the results would not be pretty. That was very much what was happening all around us in Rwanda. You cannot understand it without the emotion."

I understand what you mean and understand why you keep going back to Rwanda. I've heard a lot of terrible stories Canadian Forces who were over there under Dallaire. (on a side not I've actually had a chance while I was in Canada to spend some time with him and I actually have a tape of an interview (or whatever it was) with him calling the middle east a "black hole" which is quite contradictory to his position as a senator)

I guess my greatest frustration is that it could have been better and documented more. One project I have been trying to get started on for the last six months or so (but moving and other things have gotten in the way) is just an attempt to document the eperience of those involved in WWII (and Korea they are getting old too.) Video technology is affordable and plentiful. I am hoping to have time to get to it in 2-3 weeks. Frankly, if anybody has any suggestions or would like to help spit ball the idea let me know. This would really be an effort like the Shoah Foundation. Today there is no excuse for our lack of documentation of our history and it is something I have to todays younger generations need.

Adam
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Old 10-03-2007   #17
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[quote=wm;27634]Good historians do much more than show historical events as a photograph. History is about people doing things, not just a cataloging of res gestae, things done. As a result, good history must explain what it is that the people involved in the historical event were thinking and feeling as well as what they did. Good history explains what problems the historical actors needed to solve. Good history then proceeds to explain what process(es) the actors used to come to a decision about how to resolve those problems. As the historian makes these points clear, good history goes on to explain/describe the actions taken to bring the problems to resolution.
(While my exposition implies that the process of portraying the contents of good history is linear, the actual exposition by the historian need not be so. One could easily report on what happened and then do the causal explanation of why the historical agent(s) felt compelled to act in the way described. This is a question of style rather than a question of necessary and sufficient content.)

In the sense that I have just described it, good history includes portrayals that are akin to both good art and to good scientific exposition. I suspect that the PBS piece is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between good history and bad history. The PBS piece is also, first and foremost, entertainment.
quote]

Wow, hold on a minute. I wasn't refering to a "photograph" literally. I meant it metaphorically. I was trying to point out that the difference betwen the work a of a historian (the work of Stephen Ambrose, whatever you may think of him) and an artist (Picasso, for example Guernica.) Although, the work of an artist is important at looking at certain parts of history it is normally best when the art was made around the point in history being studied or by someone involved. When studying an event in a period it is important to get the whole picture. You must delve into society and its music and viewpoint as well as the cold hard facts. I also would agree that you have to analyze the characters involved, but do not emote or project upon the characters. I agree , for the most part, with what you are saying and was in no way saying otherwise. Distortion will always occur, but it always should be a clear goal to keep it to a minimum.

Adam
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Old 10-03-2007   #18
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Here's a news flash: Ken Burns has always been like this, Adam. I haven't seen this yet, but that's more because of my objections to how Burns has always handled his subjects. But if it gets people interesting to digging for themselves, then I think it's accomplished something good.
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Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
But, with all this stuff, YMMV. And if either The War or SPR gets someone who wasn't interested in history before seeing them interested and digging for himself or herself into the actual events, then they've done some good. If it sparks that mysterious "why" and gets someone looking for an answer, it's done more than the MTV Music Awards ever will.
Yes, it is good if people are getting interested and I will give him credit if this does that. Still, if people don't complain that things should be better they aren't going to get better. I will not praise this documentary for the same reason I don't praise Harry Potter. Yes, Harry Potter got kids reading, but it got them reading Harry Potter not good stuff (I do not intend anyone with this statement, but Harry Potter is not well written.) You still have the problem of getting them to make the jump from lower mid quality work (Burns and Harry Potter) to the good stuff [(your pick here for a history) and Tolkien (whatever your opinion of him he wrote beautifully and if you study why, how and when he wrote the book you will understand its significane)(Tolkien was my choice becaus it worked for the analogy)(for those who want a more traditional book how about Milton's Paradise Lost or for kids The Red Badge of Courage)] Yes, anything that results in someone getting interested is good, but I stil wish it was better. As mentioned in my response to Tom I am trying to work on this issue. It is probable that some people may become interested, but it is unlikely (due to lack of dedication and basic research skills, as well as political leanings) that they will truly delve into the subject and study a broad spectrum of works and discussions.

Sorry, about my outlook and criticism. These days I'm just tired of and depressed about society.

Adam
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Old 10-03-2007   #19
goesh
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Default - A Mention of Indians

What impressed me most about this documentary was the segment on the 442 Bn, all Japanese and the part about that Crow Indian guy. The dominant culture always presents itself in the best light and lesser groups get shuffled to the side and not much is said about them. I knew for instance that Americans of direct Japanese descent had fought in the war, but I had never heard of the 442 Bn until this documentary came out. Blacks started getting their due long before Japanese and Native Americans. Times have changed and for the better. I found very moving in particular the part about a Japanese family in an internment camp getting official notification that their son had been killed in action.

But in getting back to Indians, it was our current President who finally got the ball rolling to honor the Dineh (Navajo) code talkers for their significant contribution. The Oct. issue of the VFW Magazine has a nice piece on Native Americans. 25,000 served overseas during WW2. Before Indians were given US Citizenship in 1924, 4,000 had gone overseas to fight in WW1. On 11/15/03, Sheldon Hawk Eagle, Lakota, was KIA. His bloodlines go back to Crazy Horse. His ancestor would have been proud of him. In 2005, DoD released a report that said Indians compose less than 1% of the population but they make up 1.6% of our armed forces. It is duty and honor and their warrior heritage that brings them to recruting stations, not the pay and benefits and coming from the dire poverty of most reservations, that is saying alot, but it also says alot about America in general.

I had 4 uncles in it - 1 KIA and 1 disabled and the 3 who survived never said a word about their extreme sacrifices but that is not unique to Americans or that particular generation. When the dust finally settles in Iraq, the troops will come home and take their place in front of the long line of Veterans standing behind them. They will be honored no more, no less than those behind them and they will suffer in silence for the most part and take to their graves their nightmares of killed enemies, fallen comrades and dead civilians. So be it, we would have it no other way.
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Old 10-03-2007   #20
Tom Odom
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What impressed me most about this documentary was the segment on the 442 Bn, all Japanese and the part about that Crow Indian guy. The dominant culture always presents itself in the best light and lesser groups get shuffled to the side and not much is said about them. I knew for instance that Americans of direct Japanese descent had fought in the war, but I had never heard of the 442 Bn until this documentary came out. Blacks started getting their due long before Japanese and Native Americans. Times have changed and for the better. I found very moving in particular the part about a Japanese family in an internment camp getting official notification that their son had been killed in action.
Pretty good, bit cheesy movie titled "Go For Broke" which was the 442d's slogan in the war. The 442d/100 was one of the most decorated units in the ETO.

BTW Mark Clark remained a dirty word in Texas well into the 1960s after what happened to the 36th Division at the Rapido.

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