Shortly after becoming the new Chancellor of Brandeis University, Abram L. Sachar was invited to host an educational television series called "The Course of Our Times." Co-produced by WGBH-TV and Brandeis University, the program aired on public television from 1969 to 1971 and focused on events in contemporary world history.
The inspiration for the television series came from a course entitled, "History of the Contemporary World," which Sachar taught at Brandeis for more than ten years while President of the university. His lectures formed the basis of the weekly series and presented his perspective on contemporary history from the end of the 19th century through the early 1970s. As an historian, Sachar highlighted the interaction between individuals and events. His talks reflected the philosophy that "every new development is not new; it is not a beginning, it is a consequence."
As a survey of 20th century history, "The Course of Our Times" examined historical figures including Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Charles de Gaulle, Adolph Hitler, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Woodrow Wilson, and Mao Zedong. Sachar believed that his personal relationships with many of these individuals enriched his interpretations of their ideas, motivations, and influence on world events.
"The Course of Our Times" began as a pilot series on local public television in 1969. A great success, the weekly program went regional in 1970, then national in 1971. After five seasons and 65 episodes, "The Course of Our Times" had become a classic and was rerun on public television in 1977.