The Living Dead (Full Version: 3 Episode Playlist)

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Part 1: On the Desperate Edge of Now – The title of episode one comes from a veteran’s description of the uncertainty of survival in combat. It examined how the various national memories of the Second World War were effectively rewritten and manipulated in the Cold War period.

For Germany, this began at the Nuremberg Trials, where attempts were made to prevent the Nazis in the dock, principally Hermann Göring, from offering any rational argument for what they had done. Subsequently, however, bringing lower-ranking Nazis to justice was effectively forgotten about in the interests of maintaining West Germany as an ally in the Cold War.

For the Allies, faced with a new enemy in the Soviet Union, there was a need to portray World War II as a crusade of pure good against pure evil, even if this meant denying the memories of the Allied soldiers who had actually done the fighting, and knew it to have been far more ambiguous. A number of American veterans related how years later they found themselves plagued with the previously-suppressed memories of the brutal things they had seen and done.

Part 2: You Have Used Me As A Fish Long Enough – The history of mind control and brainwashing is examined.

Part 3: The Attic – Margaret Thatcher’s imperialism.

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Frontline: Secret History of the Credit Card , 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
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Frontline: Secret History of the Credit Card

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In “Secret History of the Credit Card,” FRONTLINE® and The New York Times join forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand. In this one-hour report, correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt.

“The almost magical convenience of plastic money is critical to our famously compulsive consumer economy,” Bergman says. “With more than 641 million credit cards in circulation and accounting for an estimated $1.5 trillion of consumer spending, the U.S. economy has clearly gone plastic.”

Millions of American families use their personal, general-purpose credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover to make ends meet; credit cards have been a discreet lifeline for families in financial straits.

But other consumers, like actor and author Ben Stein, use plastic purely for convenience. While it would appear that Stein — who says he charges a small fortune every month on his credit cards — is the ideal customer, in reality, he is what some in the industry call a “deadbeat.” That’s because he pays his balance in full every month.

The industry’s most profitable customers, the ones being sought by creative marketing tactics, are the “revolvers:” the estimated 115 million Americans who carry monthly credit card debt.
 

Watch The Secret History of the Credit Card on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

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Frontline: Secret History of the Credit Card , 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
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