Item Description
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century

Product Details
Actors: Leslie Caron, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes,
Rupert Graves, Jeremy Irons, Jeroen Krabbe, Martin Landau, Malcolm
McDowell, Helen Mirren, Liam Neesen, Jurgen Prochnow, Natasha
Richardson, Marion Ross, Michael York

Narrator: Salome Jens
Format: VHS, SP mode, black and white, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Rated: G (General Audience)
Original air date: 10 November, 1996
Run Time: approximately 58 minutes per episode

Hello, and thank you for looking at this item. This documentary is on four
used VHS cassette tapes, recorded in SP (2 hour) mode.
There is no artwork with these cassettes. The cassettes have generic labels on them. The sleeves are generic, and show wear. The video and audio quality is good. (There are two or three quick glitches
at the beginning of one of the episodes, but otherwise all the tapes play nicely.)

This is one of the finest examples of documentary film making. Students, both high school and college, can learn much from this documentary. It is wonderfully acted (the voice overs), expertly written, and beautifully narrated by Salome Jens.

"The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century"
The struggle for peace in the Middle East- much of today's
world can't be fully understood until students learn about World
War I and the unsettling peace that emerged afterwards. Now you can
take high school and college students back to explore the events
that set the course of the 20th century.
"The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century" portrays
the historical events that occurred between 1890 and 1939 through
the words and experiences of people who lived through them.
Extensive resource material involves students in the sights and
sounds of these turbulent times. Autobiographical accounts convey
the thoughts and emotions of soldiers and civilians whose lives
were forever changed by war. And interviews with leading scholars
explain important historical concepts every student should know,
-How conditions, events and attitudes made war all but
-What made World War I so different from other wars that came
before it.
-How people of different countries, social positions and
genders were affected by the war.
-Why "the war to end all wars" instead gave rise to a century
of conflict.

What Students Learn From THE GREAT WAR and the Shaping of the
20th Century:
Episode 1, Explosion
Introduce students to European life at the turn of the
century, when new technologies were also creating an arms race
among European super powers. Through portraits of Kaiser Wilhelm,
II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas, II of Russia, students learn about
the instability of the European monarchies and the diplomatic
agreements that made war all but inevitable. Autobiographical
accounts from ordinary citizens paint a vivid backdrop of the times
including the labour movement and the fight in Britain over women's
rights to vote. Students explore the conflicts between change and
tradition that characterised life at this time and well into the
20th century.

Episode 2, Stalemate
Focusing on the period from August 4 to December 31, 1914,
this episode relates the emotions and conditions that fuelled the
war efforts on all sides. Students learn how nationalism and
propaganda demonised enemies and prolonged conflict, and how new
technologies that were supposed to shorten war instead created
weapons that were immune to human suffering. Autobiographical
accounts reveal how civilians responded to the call for more
volunteers and how the reality of war clashed with human
expectations about victory and heroism. Archival photos show what
life in the trenches was like and how men tried to adjust and cope.
And a fascinating account of the unofficial "Christmas truce" of
1914 helps students understand how 19th century values and
etiquette ended on the battlefields of Europe.

Episode 3, Total War
Explain to students why World War I was the first "total war"
which involved civilians in the war effort as much as soldiers.
Students learn how the war changed women's lives, how it changed
government and law, and why factories and civilians become targets
of military campaigns. Firsthand accounts from soldiers and
civilians recount how new technologies, such as lethal gas and
submarines, brought unrestricted warfare to everyone's lives and,
with the sinking of the Lusitania, brought the U.S. and its
citizens near to entering into the conflict. Plus, students learn
how the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey, the first genocide of
the 20th century, sets a precedent that Adolph Hitler chose to
follow years later.

Episode 4, Slaughter
In paintings of Otto Dix and the words of Wilfred Owen and
Siegfried Sassoon, students explore the horror of war and the
battle of attrition that left many soldiers in the trenches
wondering why they were fighting. Autobiographical accounts from
soldiers at Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele, plus letters and
diary entries from civilians, relive the suffering and conflicting
emotions of wartime. Students examine the reasons why soldiers and
generals and the governments they serve would continue to fight in
the face of staggering losses-as many as 20,000 lives in one day.
Plus, clips from the first war documentary, "The Battle of the
Somme," reveal how mass media began to bring the horror of war home
to the general public in a dramatic new way.

Episode 5, Mutiny
This episode explores the may ways that people in different
roles tried to adjust to war or challenge authority. Examples from
war literature capture the conditions and feelings of men at the
front. The writings of soldiers and ordinary civilians dramatise
the psychological effects of the war and offer powerful examples of
what mechanised warfare can do to human beings. Students learn how
shell-shocked men returning from the front lines are treated with a
new technique, psychotherapy, and how grieving wives and parents
turned to supernatural "visits" from their dead husbands and sons.
Firsthand accounts of mutinous soldiers on the Western front and
striking workers in the munitions factories help students better
understand the events leading up to the Bolshevik revolution in
Russia in 1917.

Episode 6, Collapse
Use this episode to set the stage for student understandings
of the long-term effects of World War I on world and U.S. history.
Through autobiographical accounts and footage from Germany,
students learn about mass mutinies, strikes and other events that
caused the collapse of the war effort, which enabled German leaders
after the war to claim that its army had not been defeated on the
battlefield. Explain how German actions provoked the U.S. into the
war, delivering a psychological boost to the Allied cause. And show
students how the end of the war opened an opportunity for President
Woodrow Wilson to propose a new world order based on the principles
of democracy.

Episode 7, Hatred and Hunger
Focusing on the months preceding and just after the cease
fire, this episode explains how the brutality of trench warfare was
brought home to city streets in the forms of political
assassinations, revenge, starvation and anarchy. Students learn how
the war changed the world and why positive change was so difficult
to attain. Firsthand accounts express the painful bitterness of
German reparation and explain how the death of the Tsar affected
the Russian people. Students explore many events and conditions
that foreshadowed the post-war world, including the emergence of
the Dada Movement, the efforts of Herbert Hoover to bring relief to
millions, the confrontations between Bolsheviks and Allied forces
in Russia and the prolonged blockade of Germany. Archival footage
and first-person accounts describe how world leaders in Paris
partitioned nations and unknowingly set the stage for conflicts to

Episode 8, War Without End
This final episode explores the aftermath of war and
the failed peace, including the painful efforts to deal with the
losses suffered during the war and the climate in Germany that
launched the political career of Adolph Hitler. Students explore
writings and artwork from the "Lost Generation" and learn about
cultural movements that focused on grieving, loss and spiritualism.

The package will be approximately 2 lbs., 12 oz. Shipping within the United States is $5.00 by Media Mail with Delivery Confirmation or $12.00 by Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. (I am not padding the shipping cost. Please remember that there are 4 videotapes to ship.) For shipping to other countries, please ask for a price.

Payment can be made by Paypal, any type of money order, or teller's cheque. I will accept a personal cheque but it will delay the shipping for two weeks (ten business days).

Thank you again for looking at this item. I would like you to
know that I am selling these tapes (at $8.00 per tape) not to make
money, but to make readily available (at a reasonable cost) this
splendid documentary.