I've just watched the second episode of Simon Schama's history of the USA, The American Future.
This is probably a must-watch series for anyone interested in America and its history. It helps set in context some of the contemporary debates about America's future as it gears up for another election.
Schama has been taking a thematic approach to the subject. Following on from last week's look at 'American Plenty', which looked at the economy and resource use, this week he was focusing on America's war record.
By taking a thematic approach, of necessity some things are going to feature more heavily than others. The American Civil War was a key element, and mention was also made of World War II, Vietnam, Iraq and the Spanish-American War. However, this focus did inevitably mean some other things lost out and it's possibly a bit surprising that there was no mention of World War I, Korea or Afghanistan. Nor was there anything about America's isolationist tradition, or for that matter the 'War on Terror'.
But it was still a worthwhile insight into a key aspect of American history. I think Schama was right to examine the potential tensions between citizenship and military power and his conclusion that America still retains its tradition of civilian control of the military is still valid, although he probably needed to talk more about the relationship to the military-industrial complex.
Overall, this TV history does have its flaws, but it's still a fascinating series to watch for anyone with an interest in America.
Recommended Lib Dem blogs and websites
- Andrew Reeves
- Caron's Musings
- Charlotte Gore
- Cicero's Songs
- Cllr Debra Storr
- Councillor Alex Graham
- David Boyle
- Duncan Borrowman
- Fraser MacPherson
- Freedom Central
- Himmelgarten Cafe
- Jock Coats
- John Hemming MP
- Lib Dem Blogs Aggregated
- Lib Dem Voice
- Liberal Burblings
- Liberal Bureaucracy
- Liberal England
- Love and Liberty
- Lynne Featherstone MP
- Mark Reckons
- Millennium Elephant
- Norfolk Blogger
- Peter Black AM
- Quaequam Blog!
- Sara Bedford
- Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Social Liberal Forum
- Stephen Glenn
- Steve Webb MP
- The People's Republic of Mortimer
- UK Liberal Democrats
Other good political sites
Miscellaneous non-political sites
- ► 2009 (111)
- POLL: Who's run the greatest postwar US Presidenti...
- The Barack Obama Show
- Jumping on the Brandwagon
- Obama on inspirational form
- Palin pallin' around with convicted felons
- Even McCain's staffers are voting Obama!
- Obama within margin of error in Arizona
- Playing the blame game
- Today is D-Day
- That's dedication for you
- My task made easier
- Mind the Gap!
- McCain staffers: we can't win Colorado
- Obama's lead is tightening but he's pulling away
- Lembit Opik, blogging and Ros Scott
- Powell's endorsement of Obama
- American elections: my predictions
- The American Future - not perfect but worth watchi...
- Clean sweep for Obama
- My vote's in the post
- Tavish: Let's learn from Obama
- Thoughts on the presidential election
- Reminder: Tavish Scott bloggers' interview
- Let me see if I've got this straight
- The Veep debate: it wasn't even close
- Obama and the Bradley effect
- Brown's reshuffle statement in full
- I'm Mandy, why me?
- He who lives by the sword...
- Is it turning into a landslide?
- ▼ October (30)