View single post by pamc153PA
 Posted: Wed Mar 17th, 2010 12:36 am
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Joined: Sat Jun 14th, 2008
Location: Boyertown, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 407

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This is a good topic.

I think a difference may be in the reason for the historical recounting of an event: for learning or for entertainment. Sometimes, I think, the latter might well lead to the former.

I myself was "hooked" on the Civil War by the movie Gettysburg. I then read the book The Killer Angels--and soon after realized that what Shaara had written (no disrespect to Mr. Shaara, whatsoever) was really historical fiction, to a great extent. As I became a true CW student, I learned the truth that had been stretched to fit the fiction, and while I wouldn't recommend the book or movie as a truthful resource to someone seriously studying the war, I still have a soft spot for both, for what they are and for what they did for me: the entertainment value of both made me want to learn more, and in the learning, I am constantly discovering the "real" Civil War.

I think if one watches a movie about a historical event, unless it's a documentary or news reel footage, one has to understand that movies are, well, movies. But it might just be enough to make someone crack open written accounts of the real event.


P.S. Joe had a good point: not all written accounts are free of "embellishment" of one sort or another. Read Joshua Chamberlain's memoirs, for an example!

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