Segments in this Video

Loss of Moral Sense (04:06)


Barbara Tuchman has won the Pulitzer prize twice. She has written frequently about the social and political issues of modern times. Her new novel focuses on the American Revolution. She comments on the lack of taste in media.

Lesson of History (02:36)

Barbara Tuchman comments on the decline of morals in modern America and makes comparisons with distasteful behaviors from the Revolutionary period. She reflects on Watergate and the current state of government run amok.

Entertainers as Candidates (04:02)

Barbara Tuchman says Americans are becoming accustomed to stupid people in government. One must be trained in government to properly serve the people. Celebrity is being confused with heroism.

George Washington: True Hero (02:45)

During the Watergate scandal Barbara Tuchman said the American presidency is becoming a greater risk than it is worth. She discusses how loyalty has been transferred from the institution to the man.

Creation of Statesmen (03:57)

Barbara Tuchman comments on the romantic notion that modern presidents should "think of George" when entering office. Today's public figures read from teleprompters, which does not require them to "speak from the heart."

Presidency in the Media Age (03:50)

Barbara Tuchman says Americans are used to being deceived and blames advertising for the deterioration of public perceptions. She would ban political commercials in favor of live appearances.

Value in Reading History (03:10)

Barbara Tuchman says governments "persist in folly" because they don't want to let go of their positions of power. She comments on the weakening of moral sense in America using the Iran Contra scandal as an example.

Credits: Has America Lost Its Sense of Honor? Barbara Tuchman (01:30)

Credits: Has America Lost Its Sense of Honor? Barbara Tuchman

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Has America Lost Its Sense of Honor? Barbara Tuchman

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Over 200 years ago, Congress wrote its instructions for America’s first presidential election, although everyone knew the only candidate would be the nation’s greatest hero, George Washington. These days, America is rallying to different heroes: when high school students are polled to see whom they most admire in public life, Hollywood actors or sports figures routinely win. So, what explains this long leap from the revolutionary patriot to the Hollywood actor? In this program with Bill Moyers, the late distinguished American historian, Barbara Tuchman, explained her belief that Americans have lost their ability to distinguish between right and wrong. An advocate of the notion that it’s worth knowing where we’ve been, she looked at the changes in America since the days of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson; at the root of our contemporary predicament, she concluded, is the absence of a sense of honor. (30 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL4969

ISBN: 978-1-4213-5208-4

Copyright date: ©1988

Closed Captioned

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Recommended by The American Film and Video Review.

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Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.