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TV Series Review
Each student must also write a 3-page or so (approx. 750 word) personal review of either;
The Niall Ferguson 6-episode documentary series Civilization: The West and the Rest. This documentary series will be shown in class time throughout the course (on available Fridays – see outline below). The book on which the series is based is also a required text in the course.
or any of the following documentary TV series, portions of some of which will also be shown in the course, as time permits:
Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy New York: Touchstone Books, 2002 PBS Series
Niall Ferguson, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. New York: Basic Books, 2002 BBC Series
Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: A New History of the 20th Century New York: Penguin Books, 2004 PBS Series
Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. New York: Basic Books, 2008 PBS Series
Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Succeed or Fail. New York: Viking Press, 2005 National Geographic Series 3
There have also been two other recently produced TV documentary series on the history of the world, both in my view compelling to watch and not only for history buffs, which you can write your review on if you wish:
One is British by the BBC; Andrew Marr’s History of the World (2012) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xnr43 this is 8 1 hour-length episodes (on the BBC without commercials 1-hour is really one hour – or 58 minutes anyway)
The other is American by the History Channel: Mankind: The Story of All of Us (2012) this is 12 approx 45 minute (on US commercial TV 1 hour is 45 minute plus commercials) length episodes http://www.history.com/shows/mankind-the-story-of-all-of-us
The objective of the review is to consider the theme of the series in the context of the course and to develop your skills in summarizing arguments, evaluating evidence, and drawing your own conclusions. The review should identify what you believe to have been the most important points made in the series, identify the major sources of evidence used by the commentator(s), and raise any questions that you have after watching the series. The reviews will be graded on the basis of both the accuracy with which they present the arguments of the series and the clarity and style with which the review is presented and the series is evaluated.
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