Kenneth Clark's 13-part series produced by British Broadcasting Corporation's Channel 2 (BBC-2) in 1969 and released in the United States in 1970 on public television, remains a milestone in the history of arts television, the Public Broadcasting System, and the explication of high culture to interested laypeople. The series offers an extended definition of the essential qualities of Western civilization through an examination of its chief monuments and important locations. While such a task may seem both arrogant and impossible, Clark's views are always stimulating and frequently entertaining. Civilization, he suggests, is energetic, confident, humane, and compassionate, based on a belief in permanence and in the necessity of self-doubt.
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