Posted: 04/26/2011


20th Century with Mike Wallace: America at War

by Jef Burnham

Available on DVD April 26, 2011 from Athena.

Film Monthly Home
Wayne Case
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

Join Emmy and Peabody Award-winning newsman Mike Wallace (60 Minutes) for this 10-episode selection of 20th Century with Mike Wallace which explores the conflicts that shaped America in the latter of the 20th Century, as well as the evolution of combat technology and the role of women in the military throughout. These episodes are compiled from archival footage from the front lines; archival news broadcasts featuring the talents of such legendary journalists as Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Charles Kuralt, and Morley Safer; and supplemented by interviews with military leaders and war historians.

Previously seen on A&E and the History Channel, these episodes are a fascinating look at the history of American warfare, featuring impressively in-depth, objective reportage throughout. Among the most impressive aspects of this set is the inclusion of four separate episodes on disc one revolving around the Vietnam War. You could not hope for a more comprehensive examination of the war for television than is presented here. Additionally, the episodes devoted specifically to women and weaponry are exceptional examples of the way in which the series is capable of captivating and educating.

The episodes included in this 3-disc DVD set, for a total running time of 470 minutes, are as follows:
-Vietnam: How We Went to War
-Vietnam: A Soldier’s Diary
-Vietnam Dilemma: Tet and the Anti-War Movement
-Portraits of Courage: Air War in Vietnam and the Prisoner of War
-Korea: The Forgotten War
-America’s Elite Forces: A Checkered History
-Military Debacles
-The Gulf War Revisited: The Untold Story
-A Few Good Women
-The Changing Face of Warfare

Special features on America at War include a 12-page viewer’s guide with articles on war reportage, “forgotten” conflicts, constitutional war powers, and 20th-century war memorials; and “American Warriors”: a text-based feature including updates on a number of the military figures covered in these episodes. If you enjoy this set, be sure also to check out 20th Century with Mike Wallace: Politics & Presidents, released in October 2010.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of

Got a problem? E-mail us at