In the middle of the 19th century, the United States embarked on a new relationship with death. The American Civil War, fought between 1861 and 1865, was by far the bloodiest in the nation's history, presaging the slaughter of Verdun and Passchendaele, and the horrific global carnage of the 20th century. The war killed many victims - an estimated two percent of the population, equivalent to about six million deaths today - and it transformed forever the lives of the people and the nation it left behind. Based on the best-selling book by leading historian and Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, this documentary explores how the American Civil War created a "republic of suffering," whose consequences are with the nation still.
“Death and the Civil War makes itself wrenching and riveting by throwing out some of the formulas that have become familiar in documentaries about the war.” — The New York Times
“This portrait of the nation taking up its duty to the dead, its business of rebuilding, ranks among the most outstanding of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE films — a story as uplifting as it is dark.” — Wall Street Journal
“This is a film to watch. 'Death and the Civil War' will be a much talked-about documentary, one that deals with the war from a different angle and does it extremely well.” — The Washington Post
“Burns does well by his subject.” — The Boston Globe
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