About the Series

Series Overview

It is not the kings and generals that make history--but the masses, the people.

--Nelson Mandela

On the cusp of the new millennium, People's Century pauses to look back, inviting the people who participated in the great events of our century to reflect on what we've accomplished, where we've failed, how things have -- and haven't -- changed, where we've been, how far we've come and how far we still have to go. From the front lines of war to the battle against racism, the fight for freedom to the struggle for equality: Those who where there tell the stories of our times as People's Century celebrates the human spirit -- and history on a human scale.

The People's Century series represents years of exhaustive research conducted around the world. And, whatever the subject matter, People's Century maintains its commitment to documenting the extraordinary events of the century through the revealing personal testimony of the people who experienced them firsthand -- "no pundits, no academics appear on camera," reminds series executive producer, Zvi Dor-Ner -- an approach unique to this global, historical documentary series.

The twentieth century has been one of unrivaled extremes -- from the height of human accomplishment to the greatest depths of inhumanity. It is also a history defined equally by unencumbered intellectual achievement and astonishing ignorance, war and peace, democracy and dictatorship, by individual resolution and mass revolution. People's Century offers a powerful and personal new perspective on this past, making "history and television for citizens of the twentieth century," says Dor-Ner, "and for the children of the twenty-first."

This 26-part PBS television series, originally broadcast in 1998 and 1999 (check local listings for re-broadcast dates), explores the history of the century through the eyes of the ordinary men and women who made and lived it. People's Century has already been honored with an International Emmy and George Foster Peabody Award. Each of the series' programs are narrated alternately by John Forsythe and Alfre Woodard.

People's Century is a coproduction of WGBH and the BBC -- filmed around the world and shaped in Boston and London. Executive producer for WGBH is Zvi Dor-Ner; senior producer is David Espar. Peter Pagnamenta is executive producer for the BBC. National corporate sponsorship for the series is provided by Conseco, Inc. Major funding is provided by public television viewers and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation and The Lowell Institute.

People's Century is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH Boston.

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