Ken Burns is known for telling epic stories about events and achievements in American history, from Prohibition to the Civil War to baseball. But rarely has he focused on personal history as he does in his latest documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which profiles the entwined, influential lives of Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Burns recently visited us at Amazon to discuss the seven-part series, which began airing on PBS in September and is available on DVD and Blu-ray. (The series is accompanied by a book of the same name, written with Geoffrey Ward).
"If these people really did influence us more than any other family–and I can make that argument–we want to know where they came from," Burns told me during our interview. "Their empathy is borne of certain sufferings that they each experienced … They’re all wounded people."