Ken Burns

Ken Burns

Historian and Award-Winning FilmMaker

One of the most recognizable and popular documentary filmmakers of our time, Ken Burns chronicles those aspects of U.S. history that make us uniquely American.

Follow

Follow Ken Burns on Twitter

Speeches

  • A Treasure House of Nature's Superlatives

    View Speech Info

    Burns discusses the great gift of our national parks. Here both “the immensity and the intimacy of time” merge, as we appreciate what the parks have added to our collective and individual spirit. Begins with a 13-minute clip (the intro to The National Parks: America’s Best Idea).


    Close

  • Sharing the American Experience

    View Speech Info

    Ken Burns reminds the audience of the timeless lessons of history, and the enduring greatness and importance of the United States in the course of human events. Incorporating The Civil War, Baseball and Jazz, Burns engages and celebrates what we share in common. No clips.


    Close

  • No Ordinary Lives

    View Speech Info

    Drawing on some of Lincoln's most stirring words as inspiration, this speech engages the paradox of war by following the powerful themes in two of Ken Burns' best known works - The Civil War, his epic retelling of the most important event in American history, and The War, his intensely moving story of WWII told through the experiences of so-called ordinary people from four geographically distributed American towns. Opens with Norah Jones 5-minute “American Anthem” clip from The War.


    Close

  • Mystic Chords of Memory

    View Speech Info

    The Civil War continues to be the most important event in American history. In this eloquent address, Burns paints both an intimate and bird’s eye view of the searing events of the years 1861 through 1865 and the war’s profound relevance to us today.


    Close

  • American Lives

    View Speech Info

    This combines the biographies of some of Ken’s most fascinating subjects, including Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Frank Lloyd Wright, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and Mark Twain. He shares how biography works, and gives insight into the storytelling process. No clips.


    Close

  • Conversation with Ken Burns

    View Speech Info

    This is a less formal, Inside-the-Actors-Studio type of event. Burns responds to questions from moderator on all his films (or film-specific) and issues in history and contemporary American culture. Audience Q&A to conclude if wanted.


    Close

Books

  • Ken Burns, Washington Speakers Bureau
  • Ken Burns, Washington Speakers Bureau