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WGBH Educational Foundation (Boston, MA 02135-2016)
Mark Samels (Project Director: August 2009 to present)
American Experience: This Republic of Suffering

Production of a 90-minute documentary about how the unprecedented death toll of the Civil War challenged American cultural attitudes about death and changed federal government policies regarding soldiers.

This is a request to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funds to support the production of Republic of Suffering: Death and the Civil War, a 90-minute special presentation of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, for national broadcast on PBS. It explores a critical but largely overlooked aspect of the Civil War experience, exploring the immense and varied implications of the war's staggering and unprecedented death toll. It shows how Civil War death changed not only the individual lives of those who killed and died and survived and grieved, but also the life of the nation and its understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The project is designed for presentation on multiple media platforms, including PBS broadcast, audiovisual and home video distribution, and online streaming on The permanent web site (not funded by this NEH grant) will feature streaming video of the documentary, transcripts, a bibliography, timeline, and other interactive features.

Project fields:
U.S. History

America's Media Makers: Production Grants

Public Programs

$600,000 (approved)
$579,367 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2010 – 12/31/2012