Jump to content
The Education Forum
Sign in to follow this  
James DiEugenio

Tom Hanks and 1968: Engulfed in Mediocrity

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Tom Hanks never learns.  I really wonder if he reads anything.  The year of 1968 was simply a spectacular tsunami of  surprises and reversals that ended up in the total neutralizing of the great spirit of hope and aspiration that the decade began with.  The murders of King and RFK within two months killed off the decade.  And the anti RFK, Nixon, wins.  

Hanks and his partner Goetzman reduce it all to the level of a water cooler talk.

From the beginning, this special was doomed by the choice of so many MSM blowhards.  Therefore, there was not going to be any sense of enlargement or empowerment that the really good documentaries give the viewer.  And aesthetically speaking, Hank and Goetzman, through Mark Herzog, essentially just slap together archive footage with talking heads, all too easy.  Like I wrote in my review here, its like Adam Curtis and The Power of Nightmares never happened.

Like I said, a completely mediocre treatment of a potentially great subject.  But this is Tom Hanks.  What does one expect?

https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/tom-hanks-and-1968

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

But this is Tom Hanks.  What does one expect?

 

Nothing. Which is why I didn't watch it.

I don't envy you having to review stuff like that.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Neither do I.  Its not fun.

But I figure someone has to alert at least part  of his audience that this guy is pure amateur night as far as begin an historian goes.

I still have a hard time buying that he and Spielberg admired Ambrose, a guy who was a plagiarist and fabricated interviews.

Maybe one of these days, someone will point out my review to the guy.

But then he would have to read it.

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just read your review Jim Di.

Very enlightening and thought provoking as always.

I feel you should post so many your reviews in their full content state straight away in your initial threads versus a link to them. 

I click on the links to read your reviews but my guess is many on the forum do not, maybe because it means committing extra time and effort to thoroughly read them beyond the initial thread commitment?

Like I've mentioned before, your forum contributions ( especially your K&K links ) have been extremely educational and informing for me personally as a neophyte JFK truth seeker and overall historical truth seeker. 

The Russians did obliterate the Nazis armies much more than we did. The German people were subjected to extreme impoverished suffering far longer and more brutally than they should have after their army's surrender. The German POW's probably did suffer more than reported. 

One can totally respect and honor the massive effort and commitment and sacrifices we gave toward defeating world leadership threatening monsters of brutality like Hitler and his Nazis and the Imperial Japanese armies in World War II ( we really did save the world ) and still tell the full and sometimes ugly truths regarding great life costing and suffering mistakes and immoral decisions "we" were responsible for during this historical event time. 

War truly is Hell. With evil coming from all directions. We all know that.

Telling the full truths in this historical realm does not diminish our truly world saving heroic efforts and achievements.

Lying about, excluding and burying or even down playing significant parts of the full historical truth does.

Why Tom Hanks feels motivated to produce major budget and distribution films based on our most important real life historical events in the light that he does befuddles me. His confidence in his ability to do this as a qualified historian does also.

Spielberg is another mystery in this same vein.

Well, at least truth telling justice prevailed with Hank's "Parkland" film being so rejected at the major distribution box office it is now in the public record as one of the all time box office bombs ( production cost versus ticket sales ) in modern film history.

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much Joe.

We can argue pretty effectively that it was America--with some help from the British and Australians--that defeated the Japanese.  (Although ho many people know that the Japanese struck five other bases in addition to pearl Harbor on that day? And they were not all American.)

As I showed in my review, that is not the case in Europe.  It was the Russians who deserve most of the credit for being the first to halt and then reverse the blitzkrieg.  From 1937-40,  Hitler had rolled over most of Europe with his new style fighting machine.  Nobody had ever seen anything like a Panzer tank up to that time. And the thing is, for decades after the war, hardly anyone in America ever talked about Operation Barbarossa.  You could hardly detect it in history high school textbooks.  I never learned about it until I went to college and majored in history.  So I found out about it in a 300 level class.  That is how severely the Cold War had crippled historical understanding.  And that is the mythology that people like Ambrose fed in his focus on Eisenhower and Europe and D-Day.  And that is what Hanks and Spielberg reflexively present till this day, even when now, at least some of us know how important the Russians and Zhukov were to stopping Hitler.

It was that cultural illusion about American omnipotence that helped fuel an American collective psyche that wanted to go out and kill those "commie gooks" in Indochina. And what Ambrose leaves out is that Eisenhower supported Johnson's escalation of the war.  To the point that he was willing to endorse the use of atomic weapons in the jungle!!  This is something he would use when, by 1966, Kennedy's advisors now wanted him to get out.  LBJ would say something like, "Well Eisenhower is in favor to us staying and winning, even if we have to use the A bomb." This is what caused McGeorge Bundy and George Ball to leave.  

Poor McNamara stayed and, by all reports, had a nervous breakdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Let me add one other point from the Soviet view.

The Soviets were proud of their turning back of the Third Reich.  They called it the Patriotic War.  From their point of view they liberated the Baltics, parts of Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe.  They were not going to let the Germans invade them for the third time, which is why they wanted to hang on to Eastern Europe as a buffer zone.

When Gorbachev took command and began dismantling all of this, his main problem was that the USA was giving him almost nothing in return.  So many of the Soviet citizens did not understand why they had to give all of this and the Americans kept on asking for more. (Putin actually jokes about this in Stone's The Putin Interviews when Stone gives him a DVD package without the DVD inside.) This is a central reason why the hardliners attempted to overthrow Gorbachev.  And when he was released, he was intensely unpopular.  Its a real paradox: Gorbachev is very popular in the rest of the world.  He is wildly unpopular at home.  Many Russians thought he gave away what they had fought so hard to attain after World War II and on the way he reduced their status as a great power.   This is one reason that Putin is popular.  He has tried to make Russia a formidable power again and restore pride in the Russian nationality.

IMO, both Reagan and Bush seriously mishandled this whole issue.  And they left Gorbachev empty handed and weak at home.  To this day i do not know why Reagan turned down the deal at Reykjavik. I have little doubt that Kennedy would have taken it.

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×