I am a huge fan of TV history programmes and most TV historians. There is some particularly good stuff on at the moment which I thought I would highlight.
Simon Schama’s ‘The American Future: A History’ has been brilliant so far. The first episode dealt with America’s evolving relationship with its land and resources and how uneasy it is with the idea that these can limit its growth and power. I thought Schama was particularly good in dealing with the importance of the Carter versus Reagan Presidential Election. It reminded me just how great a guy Jimmy Carter is, but also why Reagan was the better politician.
However, the second episode looking at American attitudes to war is a most extraordinary piece of television. It is intelligent and insightful, dealing brilliantly with the complex and conflicting approaches that America takes to its military power. But I also found it very moving. It is well worth taking the time to watch.
By way of contrast you can also watch last night’s Timewatch on ‘Young Victoria’. There are two good reasons to watch this very different approach to TV history. The first is the fascinating story it tells of family intrigue which was the path trod by Queen Victoria on her way to the throne. The second is, well, to watch the rather pouty presenter.
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.