The Violence of History

Ken Burns' new megaseries The War helps us better see WW II--and today's war as well

National Archives

Ken Burns new megaseries The War helps us better see WWII and today's war as well.

It's a gray, stormy Tuesday in Manhattan--Sept. 11, to be precise--a day that can't help calling to mind a sunny Tuesday six years ago, a day that makes New Yorkers think about war and history, a good day, therefore, to be talking to Ken Burns.

Burns is quick to say that The War, his elegiac, exhaustive 15-hour documentary on World War II (PBS, debuts Sept. 23), is about that war, not today's. But he and co-director/producer Lynn Novick are not naive. "We're not unmindful that it will engage people with questions about the current situation," Burns says. "That's the reason you...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!