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PRESS Pass: Ken Burns on 'The Dust Bowl'

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns lamented the lack of civility in our politics and in the current presidential race. 

"It’s always the other guy’s fault," Burns said, arguing that, in such dire times, more compromise is needed. "We’re on the edge of a fiscal cliff and we have the possibility, a real bright possibility, of finding a grand bargain. But we will do as human beings always do; get as close to the edge of that cliff as possible."

He also notes that much of what we see happening in government today is not necessarily new and that his goal in studying history is to "find resonance with today."

"If you are armed, as I think the past can do, you’re not only prepared to understand the dynamics of today that much better, but you can obviously help shape your future. ... We think this is all the phenomenon of today and now and everything -- This has been going on since John Adams and Thomas Jefferson got angry and started fighting at each other in the election of 1800."

Burns' latest documentary, The Dust Bowl, chronicles American perseverance during one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in our nation's history. The title refers to a nationwide drought in the 1930's that Burns compared to "a holocaust... of biblical proportions." Although, he added, "it is one of the most fascinating period I've ever studied."

Watch David's entire interview with Ken Burns above to hear more, including why he thinks, "baseball is designed to break your heart."