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'War' Story (NYP 4-star review of powerful new Ken Burns WWII documentary)
NY Post ^ | 9/20/07 | Adam Buckman

Posted on 09/20/2007 12:39:48 PM PDT by dead

THIS is the big one.

I have spent the better part of my adult life watching TV for a living, and I have never experienced anything more powerful than this. "The War," the 14-hour documentary miniseries about World War II from epic-filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, is this fall's main event.

< snip >

I can assure you that you have never seen anything like this before, even though it might seem as if World War II has been covered from every possible angle in the hundreds of other documentaries seen on TV over the years.

This one succeeds at encompassing the entire scope of the Second World War by telling its story from the point of view of the Americans from all walks of life who went abroad to fight it, and the ones who participated in the war effort at home.

Even if you have watched a thousand World War II documentaries, you have never heard stories about the war like the ones told here.

More than any other treatment of the war, this one really gets to the central issue - the killing, and how ordinary people did it. When you hear the stories told by some who were there and did some of the killing, you will not believe your ears.

< snip >

It's like you've been through something unique and awful that has changed you forever.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: kenburns; thewar; wwii
"The War"
Sunday night at 8 on WNET/13
1 posted on 09/20/2007 12:39:51 PM PDT by dead
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To: dead

I have always been a big fan of Ken Burns and I am really looking forward to this!


2 posted on 09/20/2007 12:41:52 PM PDT by Artemis Webb (RON PAUL: "It will be a little bit better now with the democrats now in charge of oversight ")
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To: dead

Hillary’s people are not going to like this, especially on PBS, what are they thinking we are coming into an election year.


3 posted on 09/20/2007 12:43:28 PM PDT by Jigajog
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: dead

Thanks dead.


5 posted on 09/20/2007 12:51:14 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Arlen Specter, the father of the single bullet theory.)
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To: dead

It is a safe thing to do, pander to the “Greatest Generation” Sure helps out come the pledge drive. I wonder if Ken Burns will ever so honor the Afgan-Iraqi war vets. They volunteer, and re-enlist, in spite of negative press.


6 posted on 09/20/2007 12:52:47 PM PDT by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: dead

It is a safe thing to do, pander to the “Greatest Generation” Sure helps out come the pledge drive. I wonder if Ken Burns will ever so honor the Afgan-Iraqi war vets. They volunteer, and re-enlist, in spite of negative press.


7 posted on 09/20/2007 12:53:06 PM PDT by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: dead
I hope that one of the messages of this series is that America has liberated enslaved people before. Our brave men and women paid a price, and suffered much -- but we fought tyranny, and turned a barbaric part of the world into a far more civilized place.

I fear that one of the messages of this series will be that war is a barbaric thing, that men and women suffer and die and are irrevocably changed, and that the world needs to learn not to fight anymore.

The Left says "War never solved anything". I hope that Burns fully understands that war has solved a great many things.

8 posted on 09/20/2007 12:54:53 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
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To: Artemis Webb

So am I! Did you see his Civil War series? He did a great job.


9 posted on 09/20/2007 12:56:04 PM PDT by SoKatt
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To: dead

Wow! Cool. Programming this to record (via the web) on my Tivo now. Thanks!


10 posted on 09/20/2007 12:56:32 PM PDT by Spiff
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To: FrPR

You just posted a link to my favorite parody of all time. It is a shame that Ken Burns has set him self up for this, but I like to think of it as more of an homage than an outright parody. But I’m optimistic that way.


11 posted on 09/20/2007 12:57:03 PM PDT by Comstock1 (If it's a miracle, Colour Sergeant, it's a short chamber Boxer Henry point 45 caliber miracle.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I fear that one of the messages of this series will be that war is a barbaric thing, that men and women suffer and die and are irrevocably changed

That's all true yes, but war will be with us forever. It's in our nature.

12 posted on 09/20/2007 12:59:37 PM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: dead

If it’s anything like his “Civil War” series, it’ll be well worth watching.


13 posted on 09/20/2007 1:03:33 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: FrPR

LOL at “NASSA.”


14 posted on 09/20/2007 1:04:51 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: FrPR

ROTFLMAO!


15 posted on 09/20/2007 1:06:33 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis "Ya gotta saddle up your boys; Ya gotta draw a hard line")
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To: dead
This was pulled from earlier broadcast because Burns left out the contributions of Americans of Hispanic decent and the Codetalkers from the entire documentary.

There is a part on the Americans of Japanese decent participating the Europe theater.

Of the 1,800 New Mexico men sent to the Philippines, 900 survived the Battle for Bataan and the horrors and atrocities of the "death march" and the privation and deep humiliation of the 40 months spent in prisoner of war camps. My older cousin, Andy, was one of these. God rest his soul.

New Mexicans also parachuted into Europe on June 5th to be the first to invade the european mainland. My uncles on both sides of my family , my grandfather and lot of others all jumped into Europe on D-Day.

These omissions have been corrected for the release, and I for one, anticipate the story of the nations 'greatest generation' to be epic.

16 posted on 09/20/2007 1:07:51 PM PDT by Pistolshot (Keyes/Paul '08 - When you can't get crazy enough.)
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To: mission9
It is a safe thing to do, pander to the “Greatest Generation” Sure helps out come the pledge drive. I wonder if Ken Burns will ever so honor the Afgan-Iraqi war vets. They volunteer, and re-enlist, in spite of negative press.

I think you may have some points, but I think you've put it in a very, very unfortunate way.

All service is honorable and potentially dangerous, but it is not all equal....it simply is not.

The generation of the Iraq wars has simply not been called upon -- has not had the opportunity to make the sacrifices and take the risks of WWII.

As miserable, dangerous, and thankless as Iraq service may be, it simply can not be compared to Okinawa or Midway or Battan or Normandy the Bulge or many other locations where there was no secure zone to fall back to and where death was not only a possibility for an unlucky few but a likely prospect for many.

Today's generation might be just as brave if called to that kind of service. But, thankfully, they have not been called.

If anything in America is sacred, it is the service of our soldiers in WWII. They didn't come up with that Greatest Generation thing for no reason at all.

17 posted on 09/20/2007 1:08:40 PM PDT by SergeiRachmaninov
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To: dead

Ping for later.


18 posted on 09/20/2007 1:11:51 PM PDT by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: FrPR

That’s funny, in my industry we call it “The Ken Burns Effect” . If we need to zoom and pan in an animation we just say “let’s Ken Burns it”


19 posted on 09/20/2007 1:20:59 PM PDT by mikethevike
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To: dead
I am not a Burns fan. Also, I recently read part of an interview on-line that he gave to Mother Jones magazine, and generally speaking, he sounded wimpy. Touched all the lefty buttons, PC’ed, etc.

I thought The Civil War was a bit biased. I imagine that ol’ Ken will go for the crying towel drama buttons again.

20 posted on 09/20/2007 1:21:08 PM PDT by alarm rider (Why should I not vote my conscience?)
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To: dead
Doesn’t anyone think it’s suspicious that liberal PBS is screening this WWII program when we are in the midst of a war?

During wartime, films should be patriotic and show glorious death, like those John Wayne made during WWII (examples, Flying Tigers, Shores of Iowa Jima), and not show death and destruction, like I’m sure this Ken Burns film will. (I saw his Civil War program.)

During WWII John Huston, the film director, made for the army (he was in the military then) a film called The Battle of San Pietro. This was a documentary made on the spot as US forces captured an Italian town from the Germans.

The idea was to film combat as it really is with all the death and heartbreak to show it to troops in order to help perpare them for the experience before going into combat. When the army brass screened the film, their reaction was that it was too graphic. If they showed it to the troops, they’d resist going into combat, and the brass banned the film. After the war, a censored version was released.

That’s why I suspect showing Ken Burns The War at this time might, in part, be due to anti-war liberals’ desire to break America’s will to continue with the Iraq War until victory is achieved.

21 posted on 09/20/2007 1:22:40 PM PDT by FFranco
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To: Pistolshot

I had the honor to meet a man recently who was one of the first 50 Americans to land on Normandy. He was a UDT frogman clad only in a swimsuit with mask, fins and a .45.

I need to make contact with him and learn his story.


22 posted on 09/20/2007 1:26:21 PM PDT by cyclotic (Support Scouting-Raising boys to be men, and politically incorrect at the same time.)
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To: FFranco
Doesn’t anyone think it’s suspicious that liberal PBS is screening this WWII program when we are in the midst of a war?

Ken Burns makes buckets and buckets of money for PBS. They’ll show anything he makes as soon as its ready.

Adam Buckman is a pretty conservative reviewer, so I think he would be sensitive to ulterior motives in this presentation.

War is violent. War is about killing people or being killed. I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t know that already. I don’t see any pacifist agenda in honoring those who step up to the ugly business when it becomes necessary.

23 posted on 09/20/2007 1:31:41 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

Not the lonely violin, PLEASE!


24 posted on 09/20/2007 1:40:01 PM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: Vinnie
Not the lonely violin, PLEASE!

What would you expect accompanying the reading of "The Letter Home" - a tuba?

25 posted on 09/20/2007 1:42:07 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: Pistolshot
"This was pulled from earlier broadcast because Burns left out the contributions of Americans of Hispanic decent"

????? I don't remember any special units for Hispanics. They served along with Italians, Irish, German, etc. etc. and other Americans. Unfortunately there were separate units for Black-Americans. I shared a shelter-half after we landed in Marseilles with Chavez from the Southwest. I am Irish. Our squad leader was an Italian from NYC. I don't know what our platoon leader was but he got buried in France.

Perhaps of interest for today's wars. The Battle of the Bulge was won by draftees. There wasn't too many regular army guys left.

26 posted on 09/20/2007 1:43:53 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: alarm rider

Burns will weave racism into this one, like he does with all his work.


27 posted on 09/20/2007 1:46:12 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: FFranco

This film has been under production since 2001. It is scheduled to run now because it is finished.

I just finished reading the book that has been released to coincide with the film’s release. It is powerful and gripping. I can’t wait to see the film.

No, I don’t think war films should show “patriotic and heroic” death. Going to war requires patriotism and some reasonable degree of heroism, but death is never anything but awful. That’s why we should never, ever go to war unless we are certain we have no other choice and we exert whatever energy and resources are required to win with the least possible loss of life.

World War II was a truly brutal experience for those who fought it. My Dad was a navigator on a B-17 flying out of southern England in 1944-45. He had a horrible scar on his forehead from a wound he received and I am named after his co-pilot who got his badly shot up airplane back to England after the pilot was killed and my Dad and half the crew were wounded. I never, ever heard my Dad utter a word about his combat experiences other than to explain to me how I got my name when I was 8 years old.

We are going to be lucky enough to hear some of those stories from men like my dad beginning Sunday. If it is as good as the book has been, it will be great.


28 posted on 09/20/2007 1:47:53 PM PDT by bpop
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To: dead

I just hope that somehow somebody outside the echo-chamber of PBS
got Ken Burn’s attention by saying:

1. This had better be as good or better than you Civil War series.

2. You’re going to have to sweat this one in order to redeem your
reputation after those snoozers you did on “Jazz” and “Baseball”.
(OK, that’s just VOA’s fallible personal opinion)

3. If you don’t get at least one commentating historian as awesome as
Shelby Foote, you will be in deep doo-doo.
(And no, you can’t use Shelby Foote because, as we say down South,
he has passed.)


29 posted on 09/20/2007 1:48:07 PM PDT by VOA
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To: FFranco
".......John Wayne....Shores of Iowa Jima..."

He sure knew how to make you want to run up that hill behind him.

I think one of my cousins got the Duke's autograph on his bib overalls during the shooting of the movie near Dubuque.

30 posted on 09/20/2007 1:49:56 PM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: bpop

“No, I don’t think war films should show “patriotic and heroic” death.”

War films just have to show what really happened.
That’s enough to fill any screen.

It may be apocryphal, but suppossedly a US General had a terse interchange
with director/actor John Huston at a cocktail party.
The general says “Huston, I hear you’ve just wrapped a war film and
it’s not very patriotic, maybe even anti-war!”

Huston replied “General, the day I make a PRO-War film, I hope you
will shoot me.”


31 posted on 09/20/2007 1:53:51 PM PDT by VOA
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To: stainlessbanner

Negronauts....Black NASSA....too funny, let’s Ken Burns it.


32 posted on 09/20/2007 1:54:28 PM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: dead
I can assure you that you have never seen anything like this before,
even though it might seem as if World War II has been covered from
every possible angle in the hundreds of other documentaries
seen on TV over the years.


H-ll, I used to say just about the same thing.
Then those kids Tom Hanks and Spielberg had to go and produce
"Band of Brothers".
33 posted on 09/20/2007 1:56:37 PM PDT by VOA
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To: alarm rider
I am not a Burns fan. Also, I recently read part of an interview on-line that he gave to Mother Jones magazine, and generally speaking, he sounded wimpy. Touched all the lefty buttons, PC’ed, etc.

If it's anything like his other work, I'm sure there will be several segments focusing on how terrible the big bad white people in this country treated others during the war.

34 posted on 09/20/2007 2:03:27 PM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: diogenes ghost

Of course it should have been ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima.’ I spell checked it and didn’t note the ‘correction’ was incorrect. Plus, that film isn’t a good example because it was made after WWII.

Maybe a better example would have been ‘Wake Island,’ released in 1942, showing the heroic deaths of the Marines defending Wake, though it didn’t star John Wayne.


35 posted on 09/20/2007 2:09:37 PM PDT by FFranco
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To: FrPR

The narrator bills himself as a Freno State graduate. Great satire!


36 posted on 09/20/2007 2:17:20 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
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To: VOA

I don’t think any WWII documentary can ever top “The World At War.”


37 posted on 09/20/2007 2:19:14 PM PDT by dfwgator (The University of Florida - Still Championship U)
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To: VOA
I will watch until Doris Kearns Goodwin appears on screen. At that point, I will turn the channel. How can this woman be an expert on everything? I am afraid to turn on the TV lest she turn up on Project Runway, Top Chef, one of the many informercials hawking the George Foreman family of Grills, What not to wear, Decorating Cents, Clean House, NASCAR or the PGA. She must be stopped!
38 posted on 09/20/2007 2:55:26 PM PDT by adgirl
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To: adgirl

It’s a small world after all.
Probably not many days when Ms. Goodwin gets mentioned in TWO threads
at FR.

I’m not self-promoting, but you might like to see the thread about
one of Ms. Goodwin’s fellow historians and my post at #72 at URL below

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1899635/posts


39 posted on 09/20/2007 3:09:08 PM PDT by VOA
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To: All

So, it starts this coming sunday night?


40 posted on 09/20/2007 6:42:05 PM PDT by msnpatriot (Free Republic is my 1st stop!....After that check out my 'Political Watercooler' on googlegroups...)
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To: dead
Ken Burns is Left-Wing Liberal film maker and I refuse to watch any of his stuff. He really gave a slanted version about Jazz & the Blues in that documentary so why expect anything different here.
41 posted on 09/20/2007 6:52:33 PM PDT by Captain Peter Blood
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To: dead
More than any other treatment of the war, this one really gets to the central issue - the killing, and how ordinary people did it.

So WWII is reduced to a story about nothing but killing. I guess we won because we killed more than they did. Or did we win because we killed fewer than they did? Ph well. Everything is equal. Moral equivalency at work. No noble causes were involved. No liberation from oppression. No fighting for freedom. Just killing. I see.

42 posted on 09/20/2007 7:02:20 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: SergeiRachmaninov
Master Sgt. Paul Smith from Tampa, Florida, the first Medal of Honor winner of Operation Iraqi Freedom is as heroic as Audie Murphy.

What we have is a remnant of heroes were now the few bear the burden for the slovenly millions. This remnant is as brave as any who served in WWII. But because all volunteer, and none are drafted, I hold the aggregate lot of today’s professional force in higher regard. GWB never called us to enlist, GWB called us to go shopping.I do fault our leaders, but our leaders are a reflection of us.
And even against that vacuous tide, thousands of men, the brave, my heroes such as Pat Tillman left the flatulent life and served. Which is better - To be called by an inner voice? Or called by a leader’s speech, or called by a draft notice?
You say thankfully they have not been called, I say regrettably they have not been called. This war will not be won, until we are one, until we as a nation are invested in it 100% Make no mistake, they will hit us again, and they will draw much more blood in our homeland than 911.

43 posted on 09/20/2007 8:05:41 PM PDT by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: FreedomCalls

Kind of like the ultimate endpoint of “Blackhawk Down” - combat is just about protecting the guy next to you. Hollyweird has no clue.


44 posted on 09/20/2007 8:14:52 PM PDT by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: mission9
Again, you have some valid points. But 400,000 American warriors died in WWII, and it is not advisable to seem to disparage that. Some of them died in actions where they probably ~expected~ to die, as in Normandy. Everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan expects to get back home, although it doesn't always work out.

I think it is enough to point to the excellence of our present forces and to celebrate them for volunteering. No one should doubt that there are individual acts of bravery in Iraq as commendable as anything in WWII or any other war.

Still...numbers count in a certain way.

You are justified, IMO, in feeling that our present warriors are not sufficiently honored. Still, that cause is not advanced by trying to take the WWII generation down a peg.

45 posted on 09/20/2007 8:25:45 PM PDT by SergeiRachmaninov
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To: diogenes ghost
"Dubuque"

You mean they actually shot part of that film near Dubuque? First time I ever heard of that. And it's "Sands of Iwo Jima" not Shores.

46 posted on 09/21/2007 1:37:15 AM PDT by driftless2
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: dead; All
Reminder bump

Airs Sunday on PBS. Check you local listings or link below.

The War schedule

48 posted on 09/22/2007 6:12:45 PM PDT by RGSpincich
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To: FreedomCalls
So WWII is reduced to a story about nothing but killing. I guess we won because we killed more than they did. Or did we win because we killed fewer than they did? Ph well. Everything is equal. Moral equivalency at work. No noble causes were involved. No liberation from oppression. No fighting for freedom. Just killing. I see.

I think you missed the point. Yes, it involved noble causes, and liberation from oppression. But to win a war involves killing. That is what war is.

What do you do when someone is willing to DIE in order to kill you? You must kill him first. Some might call that pre-emptive war. So be it.
49 posted on 09/23/2007 7:39:05 PM PDT by i_dont_chat (Your choice if you take offense.)
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