The Civil War Television Documentary

A. strengths:

  1. variety of individual viewpoints:
  2. presents Civil War as social history as well as military history
  3. heroic interpretation of war as defining moment
B. weaknesses:

  1. lack of context (photos repeated, misrepresented)
  2. neglects beliefs & ideology (southern nationalism, revolution)
  3. neglects states, regions, Congress (Republican party)
  4. only big battles (not Chattanooga, Tupelo)
  5. neglects West (Rafael Chacon, Stand Watie)
  6. exaggerates Nathan Bedford Forrest
  7. superficial presentation of women (presents prostitutes and nurses, but not Loreta Valazquez who served as "Lt. Henry Buford" or escaped slave Susie King Taylor who taught freedman in Georgia's sea islands, married a black Union soldier, wrote Reminiscences in Boston 1902)


The Civil War | Filmnotes | revised 12/6/00 by Schoenherr