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America in the 20th Century: The Cold War

"Communists and capitalists were united in World War II to crush the fascists. But in 1945, with Hitler's Germany defeated, allies became adversaries. The world's two superpowers locked in a dramatic showdown over ideology, vision and freedom that would persist for five decades. Under the omnipresent threat of nuclear holocaust, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States was the defining conflict of the 20th century."--Original container.

Making the World Safe for Democracy [electronic resource]: Manifest Destiny

As the United States reshaped Manifest Destiny for use in the 20th century, the concept came to be equated not with conquest and expansion, but with the spread of American values and institutions. Focusing on World War I and the Russian Revolution, the section "A New World Order" traces the deflected trajectory of President Wilson's idealistic plan to export democracy - a plan that ended in compromises and broken dreams. "Containment," which begins with World War II, examines the spread of communism in Asia and U.S. opposition to it via the Kennan policy of containment and the Truman Doctrine. And "Quagmire" discusses how the Kennedy and Johnson administrations felt duty-bound to escalate American political and military involvement in Vietnam as a part of an ideological proxy war bet [...]

The Grand War of Civilizations [electronic resource]

For decades, Iraq was Saddam Hussein's sadistic stomping ground. Then it became George W. Bush's ideological battlefield. The pivot point was 9/11 and a perceived link between Saddam and al Qaeda, bringing calls for an invasion from top American and Western leaders. This program examines the consequences of that hasty decision-making process: misadventure on a grand scale, according to many observers, and an extremist backlash that engulfed Iraq in bloodshed. Viewers meet retired Major General James Marks, senior intelligence officer for coalition land forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and gain insight as to why the occupation and counter-insurgency faced so many problems. Events in both Fallujah and Baghdad are studied. Numerous accounts from victims of sectarian violence, ques [...]

Cracks in the Wall [electronic resource]

Berlin became the Cold War under a microscope: German authorities manufactured their own pop star, Frank Schöbel, in hopes of eclipsing Western rock groups. The Soviet Union invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 was overwhelmed by the US government's struggle to contain the Vietnam War. The Soviets sent the first man into orbit, and the Americans sent Neil Armstrong to the moon. In this era, even a gentlemanly game of chess turned into a high-stakes propaganda battle-but messages began to be questioned on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
2014; 2012

War of the Words [electronic resource]

In the 1980s, three men speak out and change the rules of the Cold War. American president Ronald Reagan challenges the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall. Pope John Paul II and Union Leader Lech Walesa galvanize Poland and rattle the Iron Curtain. Facing growing dissent fueled by a faltering economy, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev unleashes reforms that will shake Communism to its foundation. For almost 50 years, the fight between two superpowers shaped our societies and our way of looking at the world.
2014; 2012

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: America's Drone Wars

For the first time ever, members of Congress heard testimony from victims of drone attacks, including that of 13-year-old Zubair Rehman, from Pakistan, who spoke of a strike last year that killed his grandmother and wounded him and his little sister. There is simply no getting around it: drones often kill innocent civilians. That is the subject of Robert Greenwald's new documentary, Unmanned: America's Drone Wars. This edition of Moyers & Company provides a preview of Greenwald's film, which shares testimony, stories, and alarming news on the fatal impact of our drone strategy.

Republican Congress, the

Former Secretary of Labor and university professor Robert Reich talks about the abrupt changes that took place when the Republicans gained control of Congress in the 1994 congressional elections. "I had to stop a lot of bad things from happening and guard my programs, make sure that decisions that had been made were going to stick," Secretary Reich recalls.
2015; 2011

Truth and Lies: Watergate

A scandal surrounding the highest office in the United States shook the nation and ultimately led to the resignation of a president. This video shows exclusive interviews, photos, and footage related to the Nixon Watergate scandal.

A Bus for Martin Luther King

Early 20th century in the U.S. South. Segregation against the black community is rife. The Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws—all this finds form in daily life via ethnic separation in public places, schools, public transport, public drinking fountains, and on and on. In buses, for example, seats at the front are reserved for whites. Rosa Parks, a seamstress, lives in the city of Montgomery, Alabama, and has suffered from this social context ever since childhood. On December 1, 1955, she refuses to obey the driver of the bus she is on and give up her seat to a white passenger as laid down by the law. Arrested and jailed, she becomes the symbol of the Afro-American cause, and a young pastor, Martin Luther King, seizes on the event and starts a boycott of the city’s buses. Demonstrations, spe [...]
2017; 2016

The American Dream

Written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Stanley Tucci, “The Italian Americans” explores the evolution of the Italian community, from “outsiders” in the late nineteenth viewed with suspicion and mistrust to some of the most prominent leaders of business, politics and the arts today. This film begins in postwar America, when Italian Americans moved to the suburbs and entered the middle-class. But even as crooners such as Frank Sinatra defined cool, they were haunted by accusations of Mafia ties reinforced in the media by Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.” Over the next decades, Governor Mario Cuomo achieved success; Antonin Scalia became the first Italian American on the Supreme Court, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was elected Speaker of the House [...]
2015; 2014

Why 1995 Is the Year That Created the Future

American University professor of journalism W. Joseph Campbell sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss the decade of the 1990s in his new book, 1995: The Year the Future Began. From the dawn of the Internet to the post-Cold War complexities of foreign policy, the 1990s set the stage for the most enduring issues of the 21st century. A Reason TV production.
2016; 2015

The Space Shuttle: Flying for Me

This program is a thrill ride recaputuring the drama and excitement of human space flight, while documenting the achievements of the 30-year Space Shuttle program, including diversity of the astronaut corps, the Hubble Telescope, and the International Space Station.
2017; 2014

The Shah of Iran: Interview (11/14/77)

A 1977 interview with the Shah of Iran in which he discusses relations with the United States.
2017; 1977

Brothers in Arms

In the early months of 1969, six men met on a swift boat on the Mekong Delta during some of the worst fighting of the Vietnam War. Five of the men were crewmates - Tommy, Mike, Gene, David, Del - and the came from across America, from Boston to Northern California to Iowa. Their commander happened to be a young Yale graduate named John Kerry. The six men would endure the horrors of Vietnam together. They would remain friends for the next 35 years. Brothers in Arms tells the story of their unique relationship. The documentary focuses on their experiences in Vietnam, but it also recounts what happened to them after the war and delves into the way each man has dealt with the experience of fighting in, as David puts it, "a war I discovered we didn't intend to win." Interviews, photograph [...]
2017; 2004

Cold War Roadshow

Cold War Roadshow tells the story of one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of modern history—the unprecedented trip across America in 1959 by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the world leader of communism and America's arch nemesis. The visit was an opportunity to halt the escalating threats of the Cold War and chart a new course toward peaceful coexistence. For the American press, it was the media story of the year.
2017; 2014

Black Gold: The Story of Oil

This documentary looks at the U.S. oil industry’s development and evolution over a century. Beginning with Edwin Drake’s first well in Pennsylvania, we learn about John D. Rockefeller’s rise to prominence as a “robber baron” controlling 90% of U.S. refineries through the Standard Oil Trust; the transition from kerosene to gasoline around the turn of the century; competition from Texas oil wildcatters; anti-trust legislation dissolving Standard Oil in 1911; America’s love affair with the automobile in the 1950s that brought about oil imports; the OPEC embargo; and Gulf War, waged to protect the oil-dependent American economy.
2017; 1998

Warfront '68

From Saigon, four leading correspondents discuss Vietnam's battles on this NET Journal—Warfront '68 program. Participating in this National Educational Television production are Robert Shaplen of The New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize winner Peter Arnett of the Associated Press, William Tuohy of the Los Angeles Times, and R.W. Apple, Jr. of the New York Times. A.H. Perlmutter, the program's executive producter, acts as a moderator.
2017; 1968

Lay My Burden Down

One year after the dramatic Selma-to-Montgomery march and the ensuing Voting Rights Act of 1965, rural black citizens are no less hungry, no better educated, and no more powerful politically.
2017; 1966

World of Piri Thomas

This program gives an unflinching view of the “mean streets” of El Barrio, a section of New York City otherwise known as Spanish Harlem.Piri Thomas, one of its most noted inhabitants, shares his experiences and dramatically reads from his book, Down These Mean Streets.
2017; 1968