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History

Simon Schama tells the fascinating story of the African-American slaves who chose to fight for Britain – and their freedom – in the American Revolutionary War.

With gripping, powerfully vivid story-telling, Simon Schama follows the escaped blacks into the fires of the war, and into freezing, inhospitable Nova Scotia where many who had served the Crown were betrayed in their promises to receive land at the war’s end.

Their fate became entwined with British abolitionists: inspirational figures such as Granville Sharp, the flute-playing father-figure of slave freedom, and John Clarkson, the ‘Moses’ of this great exodus, who accompanied the blacks on their final rough crossing to Africa, where they hoped that freedom would finally greet them.

Rough Crossings is the astonishing story of the struggle to freedom by thousands of African-American slaves who fled the plantations to fight behind British lines in the American War of Independence.

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=4D7A359791AE03BE

 

This History Channel documentary on the Biblical Book of Revelations is a decent introduction to this most puzzling and intriguing book of all the canonical writings. “The Apocalypse of John” has fascinated readers since ancient times and this short DVD highlights a number of topics that should prepare the interested viewer to dive in and do further research on this rather arcane subject.

The video begins by exploring the legendary site of the final battle between Good and Evil as fortold in the Bible, the ruins of Meggido, or as it is written in Hebrew, Armageddon. It then provides a cursory background to the reputed author of the Book of Revelations, St. John of Patmos and his place in history. It alludes to the large genre of ancient writings known as apocalyptic literature and how John’s book was only one of many such prophetic tomes. It shows that John’s book draws heavily on the much older biblical Book of Daniel and was the subject of much debate by early Christians who questioned whether it should be included in the Bible canon at all.

This video is a good introduction to the fascinating subject of Christian eschatology and would be good for anyone interested in Bible prophesy and the End Times.

Review by: Matthew S. Schweitzer of Amazon.com

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=6F09C05E0F472202

With his first book, the #1 international bestseller Hitler’s Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997) Daniel Jonah Goldhagen – then a professor of political science at Harvard University– forced the world to re-think some of its most deeply-held beliefs about the Holocaust. Hitler’s Willing Executioners inspired an unprecedented worldwide discussion and debate about the role ordinary Germans played in the annihilation of Europe’s Jews.

A decade later – and more than half a century after the end of World War II – Goldhagen is convinced that the overall phenomenon of genocide is as poorly understood as the Holocaust had once been. How and why do genocides start? Why do the perpetrators kill? Why has intervention rarely occurred in a timely manner? These and other thought-provoking questions are explored in a new documentary film, WORSE THAN WAR.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7cZuhqSzzc

Adolf Hitler was one of the most vicious people in modern history. It is assumed he killed himself, but there is no evidence of his death. Near the final days of World War II when the Russians were surrounding Berlin, Hitler and his wife went down to their underground bunker and killed themselves. At least that is what his guards have said. They said they heard the shot and opened the door to find Hitler lying bloody and dead on the couch, and his wife next to him, poisoned to death.

The guards said they then took the body of Hitler outside and burned it then buried it. Apparently, Hitler did not want his lifeless body on display like Mussolini’s corpse had been.

Mystery Quest takes up the challenge of finding clues of Hitler’s death. There has been speculation that he escaped and might have gone to South America. Other people have said they had seen him around other parts of Germany. Whatever the stories, there is no evidence of a dead body belonging to Adolf Hitler.

Hitler used a double, especially after the close attempt on his life in the Valkyrie incident. What the Russians found when they arrived in Berlin, was the dead body of a man looking like Hitler, but in all accounts was his double. This man was apparently two inches shorter than Adolf Hitler.

In the Russian archived they have a couch with blood stains and a piece of a skull with a bullet hole in it. Mystery Quest sent an American archaeologist to Russia to get evidence from these items and bring it back to the United States to see if there was any DNA that could be found in the blood or the burned skull.

Video (Playlist): http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D06DFA318EB14739

At the height of its glory, this mysterious civilization ruled a territory of 125,000 square miles across parts of Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize. What began as a modest population of hunters and gatherers expanded into more than forty flourishing city-states who engineered sky-high temple-pyramids, ornate palaces and advanced hydraulic systems.

Where did they come from and what catastrophes caused the collapse of this innovative civilization? From the Temple-Pyramids at Tikal, to the royal tomb at Palenque, to the star observatory at Chichén Itzá, this episode will examine the architecture and infrastructure that enabled the rise and fall of the ancient Maya civilization.

Video (Playlist): The Maya http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DF696BDF1B9FB188

In less than 200 years the Aztec’s transformed themselves from a band of wandering nomads to the greatest civilization the New World had ever known. What records remain of this amazing feat indicate they did it through brilliant military campaigns and by ingeniously applying technology to master the harsh environment they faced.

They built their capital city where no city should have been possible: in the middle of a lake. The Aztec also practiced human sacrifice on an unprecedented scale and made many enemies. By the time the Spaniards landed they had no trouble recruiting tribal allies to destroy the Aztecs. Watch with host Peter Weller as we examine the architecture and infrastructure behind the New World’s greatest, and last, indigenous society.

Video (Playlist): The Aztecs http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=709CB866B9256B7E