Monday, September 10, 2018

20th Century in (mostly) Real Time - 3 YouTube Channels

For anyone teaching, studying, or just interested in the first half of the 20th century; these three channels are a must.
The Great War: This series is drawing to an end.  It has been the week by week account of Big Mistake #1.  There are also 3 month summaries for those who wish to speed things up a bit as many special episodes that range from Q&A, to in depth looks at weapons, people, tactics, and visits to museums and historic sites.

Between Two Wars: This series is on going and is found on the TimeGhost History channel.  As its name says, it looks at the history between the two world wars.  Each episode covers 3 months, so the pace is a bit quicker than The Great War.

World War Two:  This series is just starting and like The Great War, it is a week by week account of Big Mistake #2.  I expect them to have all sorts of special episodes like the original.  They are still working things out.

There is something about history in real time.  Normally we lose the feel for the flow of time.  We tend to bonce from one major event to the next without a feel how much time was between the two.  There isn't a sense of timing between different parts of the world and minor theaters of action are treated as footnotes if at all.  I knew that the American Army didn't reach the front until 1918 but after watching The Great War I really understand how late in the war that really was and how totally amazing that they got there that early considering the state of the prewar US Army.

The first two have made excellent use of maps and graphics and I expect the same from the third as well as more film clips.  The research has been top notch and Indy Neidell is an outstanding host with a good feel for his material.  As I said at the beginning, if you are interested in the first half of the 20th century, these three are a must.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Rare Earth

Rare Earth is a YouTube channel that takes a different look at the world, often a look that is totally unexpected.  The films are created and narrated by Evan Hadfield who, in his very quiet voice, brings to life issues about wealth [How to Spend a Fortune], economics [The Last Elephants of Cambodia], or politics [The Other North Korea] in clear and balanced thoughts.  You may not agree with him (I sometimes don't) but you do feel that he he has thought long about what he has to say.  You never know where he is going but plan to informed, challenged to think, and learn something new.  Add to this Francesco Petitti's outstanding photography, it is well worth the time.

Just a hint: don't be too quick to move on at the end.  They usually add a little clip after the credits.