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Jacob Bronowski, a friend of many famous 20th century nuclear physicists describes the history of Man from Ape to computer-maker. He touches upon the history of art, empires and science.Written by
Before Sagan's "Cosmos" and before James Burke's "Connections", Jacob Bronowski brought us a thoughtful examination of the history of mankind and his achievements. The angle here was to look at how those achievements effected events and shaped society as a whole.
I saw the series when it first aired, and was fascinated by it, but the series seemed non-linear, and I supposed to a young mind would seem disjointed. I still get some of that feeling when I rewatch episodes of this very good TV documentary.
I'll also add that a lot of factual history is correct, but I think Bronowski, as a social scientist, perhaps social psychologist, draws some of the wrong conclusions. Then again social science, like all sciences, is a field of research branching from the major hard sciences, so in this regard everyone is entitled to an opinion. The only way to nod or shake your head at Bronowski is to double check your own facts to see if he's right or not.
Bronowski takes us from man's humble beginnings in Africa, and shows us our primate ancestor's migratory pattern and how we populated the world today. But the real genius of the program is him showing us how our advances in understanding formed our civilization.
I applaud the program, but disagree with some of Bronowski's conclusions, though for the supermajority of the series, he does have things aright.
If you've seen Sagan or Burke do their thing with their TV series, then have a look at Bronowski's version from the early 70s. Definitely one to see for the scientist history buff in all of us.
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