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This study critically examines the work of Ken Burns, the innovative American producer-director as a television auteur, a pivotal programming influence within the industry and a popular historian who portrays a uniquely personal and compelling version of his country's past for tens of millions of viewers nationwide. "Ken Burns's America" has a three-fold agenda: first, it looks at the ideas and individuals that have influenced Burns in the creation of his easily recognized style, as well as in the development and maturation of his ideological outlook; second, the book gives readers a window on the Ken Burns production machine - Gary Edgerton shows us the inner working of Florentine Films; and finally he looks at Burns as a popular historian who re-evaluates the nation's historical legacy from a new generational perspective and, in the process, becomes one of the major cultural commentators of our era. The volume takes the full measure of the man and the industry he has helped to create.
GARY R. EDGERTON is Professor and Chair of the Communications and Theatre Arts Department at Old Dominion University. He is the co-editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television and has published four books and more than fifty essays on a wide assortment of film, television, and culture topics in a variety of books and scholarly journals.