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Ken Burns: Current Era Comparable to Civil War

Historian says this is America's 4th great crisis
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2021 3:34 AM CDT
Ken Burns: Current Era Comparable to Civil War
Ken Burns takes part in a panel discussion during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on July 29, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – If you feel like Americans are living through a historically bad period of time in the country, historian Ken Burns says you're right. "It’s really serious," the documentary filmmaker said on the SmartLess podcast, per Mediaite. He said the current era is "equal to" the previous three "great crises" in the country: the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the second World War. He went on to quote Abraham Lincoln's warning that America's greatest threat is America itself, adding, "We’re looking right down the muzzle of that gun." The podcast is hosted by actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes. Burns made similar comments earlier this year to NPR, citing America's three current "viruses" are COVID, white supremacy, and misinformation. (Read more Ken Burns stories.)

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