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Posted October 05. 2017 1:25PM

Jonathan Zimmerman: What's so bad about Ken Burns?

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An unexploded bomb dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War is seen decorating a hotel in Xieng Khouang province, Vietnam. (Reuters)


Historians aren't very happy with Ken Burns. He's a simplifier; we complicate. He makes myths; we bust them. And he celebrates the nation, while we critique it. That's the party line, anyway, among my fellow academics. And while I agree with some of their attacks on the recently concluded TV series about the Vietnam War that Burns co-created and co-edited with Lynn Novick, there's something else at work here. It's called sour grapes.





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