Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.
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1996  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Narrator (9 episodes, 1996)
N. Scott Momaday ...
 Himself - Writer (8 episodes, 1996)
Murphy Guyer
(8 episodes, 1996)
(8 episodes, 1996)
...
 Andrew Jackson / ... (8 episodes, 1996)
(7 episodes, 1996)
T.H. Watkins ...
 Himself - Writer / ... (6 episodes, 1996)
Richard White ...
 Himself - Historian (6 episodes, 1996)
(6 episodes, 1996)
...
 Frank Cushing / ... (6 episodes, 1996)
Dayton Duncan ...
 Himself - Writer (5 episodes, 1996)
(5 episodes, 1996)
(5 episodes, 1996)
...
 Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo / ... (5 episodes, 1996)
(5 episodes, 1996)
(5 episodes, 1996)
...
 John D. Lee / ... (5 episodes, 1996)
...
 Alice Fletcher / ... (4 episodes, 1996)
(4 episodes, 1996)
(4 episodes, 1996)
(4 episodes, 1996)
...
 Brigham Young / ... (4 episodes, 1996)
...
 Edward A. Stevenson / ... (4 episodes, 1996)
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Storyline

This documentary covers the history of the American West from the Native American tribes to their encounter with Europeans and how the Europeans conquered them and settled the land. In telling this story, the film takes into the account to both the viewpoints of Indians and other minorities to balance the white populations history. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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15 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I agria dysi  »

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(original)

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User Reviews

In defense of The West's narrative and historical 'balance'
25 February 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

In response to the ludicrous comments of the aforegoing jingoistic 'type': The writers of The West must have had more than a few facets of their mammoth piece right in order to elicit such a typically moronic right-wing-styled response in its appeal to nationalistic myth, grand-narrative delusion and brazen stereotype positing. Not to mention

  • the ironic circumstance of contending that 'we' as the Caucasiatic


race are being slighted in some way, in order to showcase the romanticised moanings of other races. The series does no such thing... in fact it habitually (and necessarily) DOES turn about much of the essential Ameri-myths of Frontier and Manifest Destiny (and sundry others), which have been/are so central to your much lauded and generalised "natioanl consciousness". The series, in the main, does NOT disparage these! - nor is there essentially any need to - since they're not altogether bad, of course.

So, once you're finished waving your flag about, and - somewhat ironically - prattling on about the reductive "black and white", perhaps consider that an expansive narrative like The West MUST contain motifs and themes... it cannot present a comprehensive or 'complete' history (there is no such thing)... and is perfectly entitled to present perspectives that don't accord with someone-or-other's ideal of a 'balanced' account. 'Balance' is NO objective reality, and shouldn't be thought of as 'existing' as a universal truth awaiting insertion into subjectively-conceived narratives - not even quality history docos such as The West. As far as I could ascertain, The West does NOT prefigure or predetermine to depict white settlement as inherently disastrous in any event. It is celebrated as much or as far its nasty consequences are elucidated. And, the perspectives of native peoples OUGHT factor decisively anyway - it is no narrative flaw of The West to present this perspective... especially when facts abound to corroborate.

Also, to the aforementioned 'patriot' who seems fond of collectivising white America concerning all that overstated 'swell'stuff like "fighting communism" and "winning two World Wars" ... you're okay with maintaining the 'we' for all the OTHER stuff too, right?

The West does present narrative, production and continuity issues for me also, but I'm loathe to be allied to a K.P. such as thee.


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