April 18, 2011
By Elisabeth Grant
Can you learn history through movies?
Just last week on the blog, AHA Executive Director Jim Grossman examined the new film The Conspirator and discussed how movies can be used to generate questions, start discussions, and in the end, teach history.
This idea, that movies can be a teaching tool, has been the theme of the “Masters at the Movies” article series in Perspectives on History since it began in 2006. Over the past 5 years, 17 historians have reviewed or noted over 100 films, applauding some while questioning the accuracy of others. Today, presented below, we’ve put together a list of the movies they’ve mentioned, and the articles they’ve written.
So get your Netflix queues ready, read these historians’ thoughts on which films to check out (and which to avoid), and start watching.
Before the “Masters at the Movies” series, the April 1999 issue of Perspectives on History contained nearly a dozen articles on film (including an introduction from Robert Brent Toplin, Kathryn Helgesen Fuller ‘s thoughts on film in the classroom, and Kenneth Jackson’s concerns with The Thin Red Line). See David Darlington’s blog post “From the Archives: Reel History” for a closer look at the 1999 issue.