Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts on Ken Burns' The National Parks

I have been enjoying Ken Burns' latest documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea which began airing on PBS Sunday night.

It's debatable as to whether our national parks is America's best idea although it is certainly up there. The scenery at Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon leaves one in awe even from a distance. His character studies of Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir as well as Stephen Mather make them larger than life. The establishment of organizations like the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club give one an understanding of what lobbying was like in Washington during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Naturally, The National Parks is permeated with Burns' liberalism but it doesn't distract from the inherent beauty of his subject.

The greatest impact of The National Parks is that it will have the effect of increasing visitorship to our national parks by Americans as well as people from all over the world. I have never been to any of America's national parks. Don't get me wrong. I love nature and go to Walden Pond (a state reservation here in Massachusetts made famous by Henry David Thoreau) every chance I get. Yet I am reminded that I have not seen nearly enough of the exceptional beauty of my adopted country.

The National Parks will air through Friday night on PBS. As they say check your local listings.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

hey there,

i think you might enjoy this exclusive web short the colbert report did with
ken burns. here is the link:

you can also use this one:

hope you like!