History On TV

Hey friends,

It has been a good start to summer.  I’m glad to finally have some time and just write here.

In some of my free time, I’ve been watching that new show on AMC, Turn.  It has proven to be very interesting.  I’m not sure how historically accurate it is, but I will leave that to other historians to do the research on that topic.  I also started watching a show called Crossbones about Blackbeard the Pirate.  I am about 90% sure that there is very little historical accuracy to the story, but it is nevertheless entertaining.  And of course, I am a fan of Vikings, though I have a fairly significant amount of catching up to do on that series.

I like when history engages people in this way.  I had another conversation with a friend who was telling me that they don’t like reading long history books.  Where we historians can see suspense and exciting events through the texts we read, history on TV shows it to a whole new audience.  It is a great way to do public history.

Sure, these shows are not entirely accurate.  If anything, many of them are cultural iconographies on the tiem.  However, I think that their ability to at least teach that history is not boring facts and dates, but rather a moving current full of life is something special.

I’m still waiting for a Henry Clay TV series, but hey, all in due time.

-Phil

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Christian, Lover of History, Aspiring Teacher

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3 comments on “History On TV
  1. Liz Covart says:

    Hi Phil,

    One of the contributors to the Journal of the American Revolution just wrote an article about the real-life Abraham Woodhull and his Culper Spy Ring. I like Turn too, although like you said it plays with the facts to enhance the drama. At least it has people talking about history.

    Here’s the link to the Woodhull article: http://allthingsliberty.com/2014/05/abraham-woodhull-the-spy-named-samuel-culper/

  2. […] this past summer, Phil wrote a post about history on TV, and in honor of the return of Downton Abbey tonight, let’s continue this conversation with a […]

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