Ric Burns (brother of the famed documentarian Ken Burns) presents an exhaustive history of New York City from the settling of the area by the Dutch to the attack by terrorists nearly 400 years later. Told in a sentimental tone, Burns weaves a lyrical tale of the great metropolis that encompasses not only the city's streets, but also that of the history of America. Though around fourteen hours in length, this epic documentary presents a thoughtful, entertaining look at our relatively young country.Written by
The radio commercial for the Standard Oil Company at the 25:00 mark of episode 5 is being read by Ken Carpenter, who for years would continue to be heard on a variety of radio programs such as The Great Gildersleeve and Bing Crosby. See more »
From the ruins, lonely and inexplicable as the sphinx, rose the Empire State Building and, just as it had been a tradition of mine to climb to the Plaza Roof to take leave of the beautiful city, extending as far as eyes could reach, so now I went to the roof of the last and most magnificent of towers. Then I understood - - everything was explained: I had discovered the crowning error of the city, its Pandora's box. Full of vaunting pride the New Yorker had climbed here and seen with dismay what...
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If ever there was anything you wanted to know about New York's history, this is where you start.
As a native New Yorker, and one who's very knowledgeable of this fine city's history, I was intrigued by this documentary series when I happened upon it on TV one lazy Saturday morning. There were familiar stories being told about the first settlers on the southern tip of Manhattan to the magnificent art deco era skyscrapers. But there was so much information, so many historical stories and significances that I had not known about until I watched this. It gives one (especially New Yorkers) a finer understanding of New York.
True, the series is rather long (FIVE TAPES NO LESS!) but it grasped me so much that I couldn't stop watching. It has the interesting stories accompanied by excellent narratives by anyone and everyone, and fine archival photos and film. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to know how this city came to be. I think it would be especially of interest for historians, architects, and urban environment scholars.
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