Can films tweak the facts and still be faithful to history? How much of what they present as true is inaccurate or distorted? This volume looks at the growing research exploring these questions.
Can films tweak the facts and still be faithful to history? How much of what they present as true is inaccurate or distorted? “History in the Media: Film and Television” looks at the growing research exploring these questions. It is the only reference guide that discuss the latest scholarship on history in film and on television and evaluates specific films and programs for quality, accuracy, and ideological biases. Coverage ranges from biopics (“Gandhi”), meticulous restagings (“Apollo 13”), and true crime (“Bonnie and Clyde”) to documentaries such as the World War II newsreels “Why We Fight” and Ken Burns's “The Civil War.” Historic dramas come up big at the Oscars. Cable television offers a History and a Biography channel. Hollywood blockbusters depicting historical events are huge moneymakers. It is the ideal time to look at what happens when events and people become stories and characters, and “History in the Media” is the ideal introduction to that study.
, PhD, is associate professor of English and codirector of the American Studies Program at St. Michael's College, Colchester, VT.