Masterful study of an American dynasty

September 11, 2014 9:59 PM

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Masterful study of an American dynasty

Oh, odds are they would have conquered Twitter, as they did most everything else. But they were of a time that valued active social contact and a more expansive use of language. Their great shared gift was for sealing bonds, moving crowds and persuading doubters through torrents of words — both written and spoken —and carefully controlled images, all directed at a more patient and attentive audience.

The same can be said for our pre-eminent TV historian, Ken Burns, as evidenced by the 14 hours and seven consecutive nights he devotes to the story of this pivotal American dynasty, which in typical Burns fashion turns out to be our story as well. Burns does not rush: he explains, he explores, he pr...

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