Ric Burns Interview: Death and Civil War
Current estimates of the death toll of the civil war hold that 2.5 percent of the nation’s population was killed – 750,000 people. A new American Experience documentary–airing Tuesday, September 18th at 8:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS / WHTJ PBS–explores the ways that the enormous loss of life transformed the culture and psyche the of American people and the expectations they had of their government.
The film, called Death and the Civil War is based on Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust’s book This Republic of Suffering.
The film examines the increasingly lethal years of the war, focusing primarily on several key battles and their corpse-strewn aftermaths, and concludes with a section on the postwar efforts toward reburial and remembrance. The program premieres in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Antietam, the bloodiest one-day battle in American history.
WCVE Public Radio’s Peter Solomon spoke to filmmaker Ric Burns.