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Ghost Canyon

'Titans Of The 20th Century'
(2-Disc DVD / PG / 2020 / PBS)

Overview: This series is about the four most powerful individuals of modern times: Franklin D Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

These were people who came from different parts of the world, espoused radically different political doctrines and seem to have had no common characteristics except an ambition to lead, a taste for power and a belief that they had been chosen by destiny.

DVD Verdict: Simply put, 'Titans Of The 20th Century' is a parallel biography of the most significant figures of the twentieth century from the last shot fired in the First World War to the victory of Mao Zedong.

A story of the power to lead and mislead, to inspire and to cause mass destruction.

Indeed, this is a series which is at its core about the four most powerful individuals of modern times: Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR), Winston Churchill (Winnie), Adolf Hitler (The Führer) and Josef Stalin (Uncle Jo).

These were people who came from different parts of the world, espoused radically different political doctrines and seem to have had no common characteristics except an ambition to lead, a taste for power and a belief that they had been chosen by destiny.

Here we get down and dirty with the facts and find out much more about these four men than we ever knew existed. Such as with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who whilst in college, fell in love with Theodore Roosevelt's niece (and his own distant cousin), Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, and they married in 1905.

Encouraged by his wife, Eleanor, FDR appointed more women to federal posts than any previous president; he also included black Americans in federal job programs (though they remained largely segregated).

Winston Churchill’s mother was an American and a rather daring escape from prison camp earned him instant fame! He also organized a massive World War I attack that failed spectacularly and most of his famous speeches came within a few months of each other.

As for Adolf Hitler, well, taking it from the top, Hitler was almost Adolf Schicklgruber. Or Adolf Hiedler. His father, Alois, was born out of wedlock to Maria Anna Schicklgruber and given her surname.

However, when he was about 40 years old, Alois decided to adopt the last name of his stepfather, Johann Georg Hiedler, who some speculated was actually his biological father.

On the legal documents, Hitler was given as the new last name, though the reason for the spelling change is unknown.

And finally we get, Josef Stalin, whose mother, a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, actually wanted him to become a priest!

Furthermore, in 1888, she managed to enroll him in church school in Gori. Stalin did well in school, and his efforts gained him a scholarship to Tiflis Theological Seminary in 1894.

However, a year later, Stalin came in contact with Messame Dassy, a secret organization that supported Georgian independence from Russia. Some of the members were socialists who introduced him to the writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Stalin joined the group in 1898.

The rest, as they say (and for all of these noted four men, is history! Learn much more about these notable figures of history in the just-released 'Titans Of The 20th Century' out now on DVD from PBS. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.PBS.org





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