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Advisory Committee

A group of top filmmakers and historians have agreed to serve as consultants to the project.


Ken Burns, perhaps America’s best-known documentary filmmaker, set PBS ratings records with a trio of historical epics: Jazz, Baseball, and The Civil War. His current projects include Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson and The War, on World War II.

David Grubin , filmmaker, has won every major award in his field, including three Peabody awards, two duPontColumbia awards, and nine Emmys. Among his 100 films are FDR and Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided.

Ronald Maxwell, writer and director of the major motion pictures Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, is currently producing a film about George Washington.

Sarah Teale has produced films for HBO, PBS, A&E, Court TV, AMC, Channel 4 and the BBC, including PBS Great Performances’ award-winning Sam Sheppard: Stalking Himself; HBO America Undercover’s Bellevue: Inside Out; and Mumia Abdul Jamal: A Case For Reasonable Doubt?. In 2003 she produced A&E's Crime Ink.

Sue Williams is the writer, director and producer of the acclaimed six-hour historical epic China; China in the Red, for PBS Frontline; and Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford for The American Experience.



David Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale, is a leading authority on the emerging field of historical memory. His seminal work: Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001).

Harold Holzer, vice-president at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and cochair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by Bill Clinton. He is an expert on Lincoln images and author of Lincoln at Cooper Union(2004).

James Horton, the Benjamin Banneker Professor at George Washington University, has consulted on numerous films. Currently he is completing Slavery and the Making of America, the companion book for the 2004 PBS series. He is also President of the Organization of American Historians.

Tibor Frank, Professor of History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, has particular interest in Hungarian emigration and U.S. immigration. He has held visiting appointments at the Universities of California (Santa Barbara), Columbia and Nevada-Reno.

Geza Jesenszky, a historian at the Budapest University of Economics and Public Administration, has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs in Hungary’s first post-Communist government, a Member of Parliament and Ambassador to the U.S. from 1998 to 2002.

James McPherson is the George Henry Davis ’86 Professor of American History at Princeton University. He is one of the world’s best-known authorities on the Civil War. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom(1988), and was President of the American Historical Association.