Ken Burns

I didn’t read a book about the American Civil War until I was in my mid-20s and it wasn’t Bruce Catton, Shelby Foote or a used copy of the American Heritage picture book. It was Stephen Sears’s Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam. If memory serves me correctly the next few books included David Read more

On September 7 PBS will broadcast Ken Burns’s The Civil War on what will be the 25th anniversary of its release. Burns hopes that the re-packaging of the series in ultra high-definition will attract a new crowd. We shall see. Recently, Burns was interviewed  about the anniversary of the series on CBS’s Face the Nation Read more

Those of us who have spent significant time walking Civil War battlefields know that they evoke different emotions. Much of that is the result of the broader narrative that we bring to these sites. I was reminded of this yesterday as I was writing the post on Cold Harbor and as a result of following Read more

With all the coverage of the 150th anniversary of Cold Harbor I was surprised by the persistence of two myths that refuse to give way. The first is the story of Union soldiers pinning their names to their coats so their bodies could be identified and the second relates to the casualty figures that are Read more

I absolutely love this video, which was done as part of an application for a position with the Civil War Trust. The applicant plays off of Ken Burns’s documentary and the popular short segment featuring Sullivan Ballou’s final letter home to his wife. Good luck Read more

Today I had the pleasure of skyping with a Civil War class at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.  Chris Lese and his class have made good use of my blog over the past few weeks so I offered to spend some time with his students to field questions.  In addition to utilizing the blog Read more

Teaching the Civil War

My most recent publication is now available in the new issue of the November 2010 issue of the journal, The History Teacher.  The essay focuses on how I use Ken Burns’s Civil War documentary in class and is based on a talk I gave back in 2007 at the first biennial meeting of the Society Read more

Shelby Foote’s Greatest Hits

This is an incredibly helpful video that compiles all of Shelby Foote’s interviews from Ken Burns’s The Civil War.  I use The Civil War extensively in my elective courses on the Civil War and Civil War Memory.  It is still in my mind the best Civil War documentary available Read more