September 22, 2021 - 2:03pm

Ken Burns is a documentary maker known for his films on American history. Jazz, baseball, The Roosevelts, prohibition and the Vietnam war have all been subjects that he has taken on in the last thirty years.

Arguably his most famous film is 1990’s The Civil War. Considered groundbreaking at the time, it was watched by more than 39 million Americans. It received countless awards.

Burns says that the present day is one of the worst times in American history: “It’s really serious. There are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II. This is equal to it.”

He made the comment while on the “SmartLess” podcast, hosted by Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman, and Will Arnett, comparing America in 2021 with the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II.

Burns went on to quote a speech made by Abraham Lincoln:

From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we will live forever or die by suicide.
- Abraham Lincoln, January 1838

“We’re looking right down the muzzle of that gun,” Burns added.