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The American Civil War (Videobook)
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Top Customer Reviews
The first half an hour or more is an overly drawn out history of slavery in the America's and much more than was needed to set the stage for war.
I've only watched the first two DVD's and don't know if I will waste my time on the rest. I don't understand how they can spend 15 minutes giving a detailed account of the Battle of Mill Springs but only a minute or so on Shiloh.
My biggest problem is with unforgivable historical mistakes. At first I wasn't sure. There would be little things I would hear and think, is that right? I wasn't absolutley sure until they continually labeled the Battle of Perryville as happening on October 4th 1862 when I knew for sure it was the 8th. It validates the questions I had on the accuracy of the account of Antietam, Perryville, and Fort Donelson. I really don't care enough to go back and double check. This is just a poorly made DVD series.
Beyond the obviously low budget with which the producers had to contend a number of irritating historical errors have crept in to this documentary. When discussing historical figures, a portrait of the named person generally appears onscreen. In the case of Gideon Welles, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, his name is consistently misspelled "Wells." This is an example of basic fact-checking laziness, and is really intolerable. Worse yet, after the Battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg (July 1863) the film picks up its narrative in the late winter of 1864, some nine months later. The gap in time is inexplicable and unaddressed, and gives the viewer an incomplete history and stamps it as a second-rate work.
Lastly, and perhaps leastly, the documentary displays a very subtle but definite prejudice toward the Confederate cause. Civil War era songs about "shooting Billy Yank," detailed descriptions of even minor Confederate victories, and narrative descriptions of "the graybacks gallantly charging" give the documentary a partisan feel, especially in the near absence of counterbalancing comments in regard to the Union.
The one advantage this set has is price, so if you are interested in the Civil War but can't afford the far superior work by Ken Burns this is an adequate stand-in until such time as your pocket can stand the strain.
My wife could not get the menu to work at all on any of the 5 CDs.
To get each DVD to play she would have to basically stop the DVD and then press the play button.
We did not even bother to try and watch the "bonus" DVD.
I have contacted the seller for a full refund which I hope to get.
Personally I would recommend sticking with a known "brand" of either The History Channel or PBS.
The version of "The American Civil War" I purchased came packaged with a widescreen copy of "Glory". Which was certainly welcome as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This set is fine, although I found out that I already own it in another collection. My question is why is everyone bragging about a 14 disk set ( which is what I ordered based on... Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by tim huebner
This is a most have Civil War Series! I have seen many movies on the Civil War however this one is one of the Best! I would Highly Recommend it to everyone!Published on July 9, 2013 by Deborah C
chose this rating because the product in optimum conditions.
I like it for its quality and presentation is excellent canned
I recommend it to any client interested in a... Read more
I think I would have liked this disc but the sound was messed up on the disc set I received. What I could hear was so disjointed that it just grated on my nerves to the extent... Read morePublished on July 4, 2012 by Bobbye G. Johnson
So prophesied Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given on June 16th, 1858--two years before his election to the Presidency would trigger the collapse of national unity. Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by 1stVideo