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History Detectives

4 Ratings: 2.0
A TV show that debuted on PBS in 2003.

History Detectives is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects. Traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, … see full wiki

1 review about History Detectives

One of the best shows on television returns for a 9th season!

  • Jul 21, 2009
  • by
If you are a fan of Antiques Roadshow on PBS then you are sure to enjoy History Detectives.  Although this show has been on the air since 2003 my wife and I did not discover it until a fewyears ago.  It has rapidly become one of our favorite programs.  

Perhaps the reason it took us so long to stumble upon History Detectives is that the show has a very limited run each summer.  There are only eight new episodes produced each year.  This summer PBS is airing 8 brand new episodes and repeating 5 older shows.  Just in case you have never caught the show before let me describe it for you briefly.  Viewers are invited to submit ideas for investigations.  If chosen, one of the History Detectives visits them at home to ascertain what it is they have and what they would like to discover about it.   For example, one man had in his possession a machine gun that was allegedly used in the infamous St. Valentines Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929.  Was that in fact the case?   Another gentleman had a letter written by the father of John Wilkes Booth.   In  this letter Junius Brutis Booth threatens to kill the seventh President of the United States Andrew Jackson!  Was the letter authentic and had he in fact threatened the life of the President?  And earlier this season the crew investigated the mystery surrounding a most unusual Navajo rug.  Who might have made this rug and what did all of the unusual symbols on the rug mean?   Each one hour program features three such investigations.  These inquiries are usually quite thorough and  more often than not take totally unexpected twists and turns.   Seems like there is never a dull moment on this show.   Meanwhile,  you just gotta love the show's quirky theme song "Watching The Detectives" by Elvis Costello.

So just who are these History Detectives

Wes Cowan is an auctioneer and appraiser.  Fans of Antiques Roadshow will recognize him immediately.  Wes boasts a PHD in Anthropology  and owns an auction company that specializes in historical Americana.  Look for him to be in on stories involving folk art, rare photos and political memorabelia.

Elyse Luray is also an appraiser and an accomplished art historian to boot.  Elyse can be found in stories involving architecture and home furnishings and pop culture.   

Gwen Wright wears many hats in her professional life.  Aside from her participation in History Detectives she is a Professor of Architecture, an author and in her spare time I guess an Architectural Advisor.    Endlessly curious,  you will find Gwen in stories involving Architectural history and American culture.

Tukufu Zuberi is a Professor of Sociology and an author.   Aside from his interest in African American history and American society in general Tukufu has a unique ability to put an event that might have taken place 80 or 100 years ago into proper historical perspective. 

The newest History Detective is Eduardo Pagan who is a Professor of History and an authorEduardo is excited by history's journey of discovery and attacks investigations with a scholarly rigor. He specializes in stories about the American Southwest.

Over the years I have found History Detectives to be a consistently entertaining and very informative show.  Each episode leaves you longing for more.  I wish they could make 20 new shows a year instead of just eight but that is probably unrealistic.  I suspect  these investigations are quite time consuming and very expensive to conduct.  If you have never caught History Detectives I strongly recommend that you give it a try this summer.   History Detectives airs on most PBS stations during the summer months on Tuesdays at 8:00 P.MVery highly recommended! 
History Detectives 2 One of the best shows on television returns for an 8th season on June 21st. One of the best shows on television returns for an 8th season on June 21st. History Detectives

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August 09, 2010
Most of the time I find this show pretty interesting. Nice review.
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