The second world war has been so draped in bloodless, gallant myth. You know, it’s the John Wayne war. And when you see colour [film footage], it’s no longer at arm’s length. It’s right there, and it’s the worst war ever, not the good war, cause it killed sixty million people.
Ken Burns, discussing “The War”, his new documentary on World War II.
And we were so fortunate, Lynn and I, to have this moment, where we could be with these veterans at the end of their lives, and they were willing to tell us secrets. And the best words we ever heard were, “Pop, you never told us that before;” and that you realize you were there at the birth of expressed memory.
Related: A postmodern take on historiography, in which I discuss the implications of historical criticism for Christianity, using Burns to illustrate postmodern scepticism about historiography.