James Burke explores key moments in Western History where new knowledge in science changed the way the modern Western world thinks.
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1985  
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Connections (TV Mini-Series 1978)
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Follow James Burke through the history of science and technology. In this collection of 10 1-hour episodes, starting with "The Trigger Effect".

Stars: James Burke, Mark Wing-Davey
Civilisation (TV Series 1969)
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The Ascent of Man (TV Mini-Series 1973)
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An account of man's development through his scientific and technological achievements.

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How Art Made the World (TV Series 2005)
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Cosmos (TV Mini-Series 1980)
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Astronomer Carl Sagan leads us on an engaging guided tour of the various elements and cosmological theories of the universe.

Stars: Carl Sagan, Jaromír Hanzlík, Jonathan Fahn
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The history of the U.S. National Parks system, including the initial ideas which led to the world's first national parks and the expansion of the system over 150 years.

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The Storyteller (TV Series 1987)
Adventure | Drama | Family
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An old storyteller tells European folk tales to his sarcastic dog.

Stars: John Hurt, Brian Henson, Frederick Warder
The Civil War (TV Mini-Series 1990)
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A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

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Connections 2 (TV Mini-Series 1994)
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Sequel series to the 1979 "Connections" where historian James Burke walks the viewer through the tenuous threads of history that link seemingly obscure scientific breakthroughs and the ... See full summary »

Stars: James Burke, Steve Davis, Mandy Maxwell
Connections 3 (1997–1998)
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Stars: James Burke, John Carrigan
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James Burke ...
 Himself - Host (10 episodes, 1985)
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Storyline

This series based on a simple premise, the universe is essentially only how you yourself perceive it. If you change what you know about the universe, then to you, you have essentially changed the universe itself. In this series, James Burke explores nine key moments in the history of the Western world when the introduction of new knowledge and/or technology has led to profound changes in how the West thinks. These include things like the introduction of Guttenberg's printing press, Copernicus's sun centered universe model and Darwin's publishing of his theory of evolution. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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19 March 1985 (UK)  »

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James Burke: ...and then things took an encouraging turn for the so-so.
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Fantastic Series
11 June 2006 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

I must at the outset confess to a certain bias writing about James Burke. We were both late depression babies born in Northern Ireland, in and near Derry, he a year earlier than myself. We both share a network vision of history as the cause/effect of the interplay of individuals responding to existing conditions and circumstances, sometime with absolutely ironic results. To me, it was always significantly ironic that Karl Marx's inspirator for his social evolutionary model of the Social Man was based on the writings of Lewis Henry Morgan who was the great financier and archcapitalist, J. Pierrepont Morgan's uncle. In his work, Connections, Burke has gone on to explore literally dozens of these baffling circumstances to demonstrate the rather capricious nature of history. And, he has always done it in a witty, entertaining but educating fashion. The series reviewed here, The Day the Universe Changed, was based in large part on work from his earlier Connections but always had a solid political economic basis to it, e.g., his discussion of the role of English Peasant markets and fairs and the rise of early capitalism in pre-reconnaissance England. His presentations were fun to see and wonderful in their solid basis of social and ecological facts. Alas, while we are presently confronted with people spending their time and energy gaw-gawing over who will be the next American Idol, it's nice to look back and refresh our memories that there was a time when we were give substance and wit as entertainment instead of some mindless worship of some feckless celebrity cavorting in a way that will be ultimately boring to the next generation of viewers.


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