Monday, September 28, 2009

National Parks


I just ordered the Big Burn book (I always resist the EVENT that changed history titles, but this looks good even though that fire has been written about many times before).

Also ordered the Burns/Duncan book on the national parks. What I learned from my experiences in Albuquerque is that they really are not all that interested in history but good story telling. Hopefully they'll have some good stories to tell.

18 comments:

  1. I picked up a Nat'l Geo book, "An American Idea: The Making of the National Parks," by Kim Heacox with a forward by Jimmy Carter a few years ago. Probably not as lavish as the Duncan/Burns book, but lots of nice photos, illustrations, and memorabilia.

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  2. I'll let you know how this one is. If nothing else, I'm sure the photography will be splendid.

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  3. Burns and Duncan said that some of the features that were edited out of the TV series are in the book.

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  4. So far it's pretty good but while the Burns format was novel when he did the Civil War, Baseball etc it seems sometimes where it's been there done that for this series.

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  5. I really liked the first one -- I thought he did a good job of showing some of the complexities with the railroad etc. rather than the simple story he started out with. And he cut the campfire scene which he was very proud of. I'm sort of shocked, but pleased that he did so.

    There were some things he said that had a very familiar ring to them but he gave me a credit, which is great, because I can continue using the interview on my CV.

    I'm looking forward to the second one.

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  6. But I have to say the music was getting on my nerves. Is that just me?

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  7. I liked the music. It was pretty typical of what Burns would have in his documentaries, but perhaps it should have been turned off now and then.

    I think the Native American flute solos were Carlos Nakai, but there is no credit given, and they aren't on the soundtrack CD. I've listened to the samples on Amazon.com.

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  8. Oh, that's weird, because the flute solos dominated that last half of the first one. They did have a long play list at the end of the show.

    I have a housemate who lives downstairs and it was late when I got in so I was listening to the show on headphones which may have been why the music was a bit much for me. We'll see how the next one goes.

    It occurred to me that I started the show a few minutes late -- they were in Yosemite. Hopefully they didn't show the campfire story to begin with.....

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  9. I missed the very start also.The LA Times critic had some crack about he'd heard enogh Banjo and Flute music for a lifetime or something akin to that.

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  10. Interesting. After awhile, it really got on my nerves -- seemed hackneyed and overwhelming. I'll watch the second one tonight and see what I think.

    I was planning to write a review of it, thinking it would be a mess from a history perspective, but so far I think they've done a good job. Probably won't weigh in afterall.

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  11. Someone on another forum I follow also didn't like the music after watching the first episode.

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  12. A correction after watching tonights epsisode I think the LA Times critic said Banjo and Fiddle music.I just glanced at the article last thursday or friday in the print edition.

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  14. Okay that link didn't work so I'll try again otherwise look it up.I found a great online link on Architecture in the Natl Parks.There are many listings and each building has an essay. http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/harrison/harrisont.htm

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  15. The longer this series goes on the more disjointed it seems.I like the fact they are sticking to a timeline of sorts but the constant revisiting of Yosemite,Yellowstone,Grand Canyon etc gets a bit redundant.Also they barely mention Natl Seashores.Some of the telling what it took to get certain areas added though are great.I never knew the story of Jackson Hole and the nasty things that went on there.It's funny that Western Ranchers the original welfare queens portray themselves as rugged indivuals fighting the federal govt.The segment tonight on Biscayne Bay was equally compelling.Also the story of Harold Ickes and his work behind the scenes.Again a lot of good stuff but it goes all over the map to get there.Burns and his crew need to get over themselves a bit and let a good editor do a job to make the whole thing a bit more streamlined.

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  16. re: "I found a great online link on Architecture in the Natl Parks."

    I'll make a post on a wonderful book I found of NPS architecture, filled with great WPA drawings. Of course, these drawings can all be found through the Library of Congress.

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  17. Burns bores me. It's the same thing over and over again, regardless of the subject. One trick pony, I guess.

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  18. They do amazing research in the archives so I'm hoping the book will be good. I'll pick it up today, along with the Madison Grant one.

    As for Sherlock Holmes, the Jeremy Brett campy version (from the 80s?) has been running forever here on PBS on Sunday nights. The perfect show to end the week. I've also been watching some of the old Basil Rathbone ones on Netflix online. Any port in a storm, although last night I cracked open the first of Black Books which I'm hoping will be another British wonder.

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