the war


There’s often a significant flaw in Ken Burns’s documentaries. In “The Civil War” (1990), it was an ending that emphasized the healing of whites in the North and South without making clear that, at the war’s end, the situation of most blacks in this country would not change for decades. In “Baseball” (1994), it was the director’s failure to accommodate the when-it-was-a-game nostalgia with the hard realities of the players’ revolution in the 1970s. And in “The West” (1996), it was an inability to reconcile the 19th-century belief in manifest destiny with the 20th-century notion of imperialism. But then, Mr. Burns isn’t a historian, he’s a storyteller with an uncanny — let’s face it, unprecedented — ability to weave a vast array of threads into a single cohesive narrative.

more from the NY Sun here.