I started watching it, but got bored and turned it off. He did such a good job with the Civil War, but I’m disappointed in this one. Did he ever go into the causes and events which led up to WWII? Or was it just all about gloom, death and destruction?
I watched it last night. I found it quite insightful. I learned much about WWII history not emphasized in school books. I liked the point made that not all those who signed up did so out of patriotism. In the midwest, there were young men looking for excitement.
The format is similar to that used in many documentaries on the History Channel. I like the point he made in his interview on PBS following the show. “There are no ordinary people.” We tend to forget that history is made of “ordinary” citizens who take a stand. His goal was to show history from the common man point of view.
I just saw “The Glass Menagerie” last Saturday, and that is exactly what Tom Wingfield does in that play. In fact the play takes place before the war and he’s itching for it to start so he can have the same kind of excitement in his own person that he gets vicariously from the movies.
Last night was just the first part out of seven parts. Each one is focusing on a different aspect of the war. Perhaps the others will address some of the issues you bring up.
I live in Mobile AL, one of the four cities that are the main focus of The War. Ken Burns was recently here for a brief preview of the film and answered a lot of questions.
Talking about the “causes and events” that led to WWII was not his purpose, though he did, indeed, include a brief overview of both the Japanese and German situations in last night’s episode (mainly, both Japan and Hitler wanted to expand their power.) Burns’ aim was to show the effects of the War from the “bottom up” - no Monday morning quarterbacking generals, etc. - through the eyes of people from four representative American cities who lived through it.
My husband is a broadcast journalist who did an interview with Ken while he was in town. He is a humble, delightful, extremely intelligent man. I have permission from dh to post this link to the interview. I hope you find it interesting (please ignore the brief local bank commercial for the first 30 seconds.) myfoxgulfcoast.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=4315246&version=5&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1