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The Course of Our Times

Identifier: 08.MWalB01330A


The Robert D. Farber University Archives is pleased to make available two early public television series for in-house viewing: "Prospects of Mankind" and "The Course of our Times." Both series were produced by WGBH-TV (Boston) and offer rich and unique documentation on important individuals and events that shaped twentieth century history at home and abroad.

Selected viewing copies of each series have been provided to Brandeis University courtesy of the WGBH Archives.


  • Broadcast: 1969-1971


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

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.


2 Boxes

Course of Our Times57.COOT
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections