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ERIC Number: EJ933471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Using Ken Burns's "The Civil War" in the Classroom
Levin, Kevin M.
History Teacher, v44 n1 p9-17 Nov 2010
When it aired in 1989, Ken Burns's epic documentary about America's Civil War garnered the largest audience in PBS history. Viewers who had little interest or knowledge of the Civil War were attracted to the powerful images and sounds as well as the narration by David McCullough and commentary by Shelby Foote--the combination of which served to introduce a heroic and tragic story to a national audience. While historians have spent considerable time analyzing Burns's documentary as historical interpretation, little attention has been given to the ways in which the film can be utilized in history courses on the high school level. The beginning of the Civil War Sesquicentennial in 2011 will provide a unique opportunity to introduce questions of memory and interpretation in high school history classes. In this article, the author explores how he engages students with questions of memory and interpretation through a careful viewing of Burns's "The Civil War." (Contains 5 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States