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Archive for April 2011

Hollywood History

I was both pleased and disappointed with the new Robert Redford-directed movie about the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, The Conspirator.  I need to lower my expectations about such treatments, like the Alexander Hamilton documentary on PBS which I recently wrote about.  I need to view them like the dog who talks — it’s not…

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Still Looking for Alexander

I applaud those who try to bring history to life and share it with the largest possible audiences.  But it’s not an automatic pass.  You still need to tell the stories and tell them well. By those standards, Monday night’s PBS special Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton probably gets a C, mostly for good intentions, as I explicate over…

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Long Books

Right now, I am in the midst of two long and highly acclaimed long books.  I’ve been reading a print edition of Ron Chernow’s Washington, and I’ve been listening to an audio version of Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello.  Chernow’s tome has already won the American History award, and likely will pick a few more over…

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