TELEVISION: KEN BURNS: WHITE MEN BEHAVING BADLY

AND COURAGEOUSLY TOO, ACCORDING TO KEN BURNS' LATEST SERIES, WHICH TRIES TO COME TO TERMS WITH AMERICA'S CONQUEST OF THE WEST

You have to wade through nearly 10 hours of the 12 1/2-hour documentary series The West--past Lewis and Clark's expedition and the gold rush and Brigham Young and George Armstrong Custer--to reach the man who historian Richard White contends is "the one true genius the 19th century West created." He is none other than William F. ("Buffalo Bill") Cody, the former Indian fighter and buffalo hunter whose touring "Wild West" show forever fixed the myth of the West for the rest of the world. Cody's show, which began touring in the 1880s, re-created Indian attacks on wagon trains and raids on...

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