Like many of you, I’ve just finished watching the latest Ken Burns’ documentary “Prohibition” on public television. And no doubt like many of you, I found it fascinating. Much of the history leading up to the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment was unknown to me or maybe just forgotten from those long ago days in American history class. One thing I am sure of is that the 100 year period this documentary covers was just as tumultuous and transforming as events in our country today.
I’ve always liked history and in my view no one does a better job of presenting it than Ken Burns. Since the Academy award nominated “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1981, Burns has excelled in his efforts to tell the story of our country’s transformative events using a rich narrative and eye-popping visual landscapes. He has gone on to direct and produce, in collaboration with other talented individuals, some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made.
The list of Burns’ films is ever growing but included in the more well-known ones are “Baseball,” “The Civil War,” “Jazz,” “Lewis and Clark,” “Mark Twain,” last fall’s “National Parks,” “Baseball: the Tenth Inning,” “Thomas Jefferson,” “The War” (about WWII) and “The West.” All of these great films are available here in the library. If you missed them when they first aired on PBS, do yourself a favor and check them out for an unforgettable learning adventure.