Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
On both sides of the Atlantic, John F Kennedy continues to be invoked by today's politicians in the hope that some of his magic might rub off on them. But, 50 years since his election, Andrew Marr asks whether JFK's legacy has tarnished politics ever since.
The US election campaign of 1960 was the making of modern politics. It marked the triumph of style over substance, the manipulation of the media, the use of vast amounts of money to swing the vote, and the dumbing down of the issues to spoon-feed the electorate – all aspects of Kennedy's campaign.
Andrew examines in detail exactly what Kennedy stood for, and goes in search of the substance that has long been obscured by the fascination with the Kennedy style.
He also examines how Kennedy embodied the hopes of a nation, and asks whether modern politics demands inspirational leaders rather than politicians bogged down in the details.
Kennedy's soaring rhetoric set a standard that people yearn for their politicians to reach. In JFK – The Making Of Modern Politics, Andrew Marr looks afresh at the events of 1960 and provides a fascinating insight into politics today.
An IWC Media production for BBC Current Affairs
As US troops withdraw from Iraq, this ambitious documentary series sets out to tell the story of the country after the invasion.
Secret Iraq will provide an authoritative account of what happened and what the problems were – not from the perspective of London and Washington, but from the perspective of those in Iraq.
Was what happened inevitable or avoidable? The production team behind the series has visited some of the most troubled spots in Iraq, gathering memories and eyewitness testimonies of key Iraqi insurgents, as well as filming with the soldiers, spies and politicians from both sides of the Atlantic caught up in the thick of the action.
Secret Iraq will be a unique historical record and also an enthralling TV narrative.
Quicksilver Media Productions for BBC Current Affairs
Bafta-award winning director Patrick Forbes chronicles the inside story of an heroic attempt to rebuild Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake in January 2010.
The international team is driven by Irish telecoms billionaire Denis O'Brien supported by British architect John McAslan. Both have pledged to rebuild the symbol of Haiti – the huge Ironmarket that lies at the heart of Port-au-Prince – in just one year.
Their ambition does not stop there. Months after the quake, there are still 750,000 Haitians living homeless in refugee camps, McAslan is attempting to create a model house that will eventually house all the homeless.
This epic programme tracks their efforts, filming with them and the Haitians involved in their country's reconstruction and redemption.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
An Oxford Film and Television production
Of all the phrases used to describe the American ethos, none holds such a powerful grip on the imagination as "The American Dream". Shorthand for one of the country's most tenaciously held beliefs and myths, the ideas behind it are an integral part of being American. But what does the phrase actually mean?
Using remarkable archive footage and eyewitness testimony, this major three-part series explores the realities behind the idea of the American Dream which took hold in the United States from the Forties through to the Seventies.
Starting with the dream's heyday after the Second World War, the programmes feature those who helped create, sell, and consume the American Dream, as well as those who reject the very notion as a dangerous myth.
This World, the BBC’s international current affairs strand, returns this Autumn with a range of investigations, including the inside story of the kidnapping and incarceration of Ingrid Betancourt.
Ingrid was held captive in the Colombian jungle for six years until her rescue in 2008. The film examines the intense and powerful bonds that grew among the prisoners as they lived side by side with their captors.
Using archive footage of rescue attempts and "proof of life" recordings, it tells the story of the tense negotiations that eventually led to their release.
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