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{Empty title} | The Nation

It became obvious to me about halfway into Episode II of the series that Burns's focus would be limited to the first-hand accounts of soldiers, their families, others who served and those who suffered from and during the war. (Aren't we sick of hearing about the generals anyway? All that has been well documented. I want to hear from those who fought.) Burns is a television documentarian, not a historian; therefore, it is perhaps appropriate that he not deal in historical analysis. (How could be expected to cover all the prescient questions anyway without leaving something out?) There is nevertheless a great deal to be learned from the series. For example, the army pilot's tales of strafing Nazi transport and the psychological torment he suffered as a result raises questions on the morality of soldiers' actions during combat. To take this point even further, one can apply the lessons of the internment of Japanese-Americans to the potential (and likely) treatment of Americans of Middle Eastern descent if there ever were to be a second 9/11. The questions are there, Mr. Alterman, if you take the time to look for them.