9 thoughts on “A New Look At History”

  1. Whittle is five years younger than I am, so he may not have the memory of Walter Cronkite’s The 20th Century burned into him. That show relived WW-II in particular, in black and white (which I watched on a black and white TV), so I was really conditioned to see things the way Whittle observes.

    In 1987, my wife and I vacationed on Oahu, and we visited Pearl Harbor. When we went out to the Arizona Memorial, I was completely flabbergasted by what I saw. It was a beautiful, clear day, and before me was this colorful, vast expanse of harbor (the photographs and movies always made it look small). At first, it didn’t make sense to me that the attack could have been so devastating, with the widely dispersed targets. Given the speed of the Japanese aircraft at the time, it would have taken them forever to go from one target to another. But the fact that I knew it had looked like this on December 7th, 1941 really, really hit me. It completely reoriented my perception of that attack, and eventually of history. [Yes, I had seen Tora! Tora! Tora! in 1970, but it didn’t dislodge the scar tissue my brain had accumulated.]

    My new wife and I love to hike the Civil War battlefields that abound in northern Virginia and the immediately surrounding states. I’ve been able to envision the battles in their natural color, all because of that one rude shock at Pearl.

  2. Good opportunity to plug the amazing “They Shall Not Grow Old” restoration of Imperial War Museum WW1 footage; I highly recommend it.

    1. Similar restorative treatment was given to B-17 footage in “The Cold Blue”. Trailer is available on YouTube. The Fathom event showing has already passed but the full film is coming to HBO this week and hopefully on BluRay later this year.

  3. There’s a DVD documentary entitled “Thunderbolt” (cost < 7 dollars at Amazon) presenting original footage filmed entirely in color documenting American fliers of P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers conducting “Operation Strangle” in Italy during World War II. Introduced by Jimmy Stewart.

  4. A Brazilian artist, Marina Amaral, is incredibly skilled at colorizing old black-and-white photographs. Her book “The Color of Time: A New History of the World: 1850-1960” is entrancing and absorbing, and it really resets your viewpoint for things like the Civil War, WW2, and the early days of aviation. (The colorized image of the Wright Brothers first flight should be particularly vibrant for this group.)

    I bought a copy for myself, then two more as Christmas gifts.


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