The Civil War Revisted

April 1, 2011 Erik Ernst Leave a Comment

Watch Ken Burns’ The Civil War at 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, April 3-7 on Wisconsin Public Television.

It was 150 years ago that the Civil War tore the United States apart. The bloody war left an unending mark on the country, affecting states and families in states from south to north. (This piece from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explores the ways the war affected Wisconsin.)

And while historians, scholars, history buffs and re-enactors had studied the war since its end, it was never so broadly and deeply accessible to the general public until Ken Burns turned his documentary filmmaker’s eye on the subject. The resulting 12-hour film was a landmark in television history. The film captured America’s attention through its rich narration, in-depth interviews, haunting music and his now iconic style of photo presentation. Critics and viewers raved — in fact, this week, OnMilwaukee TV columnist Tim Cuprisin declared The Civil War “The greatest documentary TV series ever made.”

Next week, WPT offers a chance to revisit the stunning documentary. As you are watching it, explore the program’s companion website, and watch Burns describe the tumultuous creation of the film in the interview below.


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