History Network

Grant: A man for our times

Television | Ulysses S. Grant shines in a new docuseries that mostly focuses on his military career
by Sharon Dierberger
Posted 6/11/20, 04:26 pm

It’s heartening to watch the progression: A white man working the fields alongside black slaves, then freeing a slave from his in-laws, saying, “God protect you, Wilbur.”  The same man commands some of the Civil War’s first black troops. Then as president, he advocates for Abraham Lincoln’s Reconstruction plans and helps ratify the 15th Amendment to grant men voting rights regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Later, he sends agents south to capture and prosecute Ku Klux Klan members.

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BBC/Drama Republic

An Inspector Calls: False innocence

Television | Film makes a wealthy family the unwitting villains
by Marty VanDriel
Posted 6/11/20, 04:18 pm

In 1912, the Birling family of England seems to have it all. In their beautiful home, with servants rushing during a lavish dinner, Arthur and Sybil Birling celebrate daughter Sheila’s engagement to Gerald, son of another wealthy family. Gerald is helping run his father’s factory.

Mrs. Birling assures her daughter that she is “securing her future” with this excellent match. In the drawing room after dinner, Mr. Birling is equally confident. “You’re getting married at the best time possible,” he informs his prospective son-in-law. 

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“Only joking!”

Society | Deceiving an unsuspecting person isn’t funny
by Andrée Seu Peterson
Posted 5/21/20, 04:23 pm

I was sheltering in place watching old reruns of Candid Camera and was struck by how immoral that prototype reality TV show was. It had escaped me 60 years ago. Oh some of the scenes are just funny and harmless. Like the spoon in the diner that patrons try to pick up and it keeps moving around on the table (a guy with a magnet is under the counter).

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