Historian and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns on a podcast said that he sees the current era situation in America as comparable to the events that happened during the Civil War, Great Depression, and the Second World War.

During an appearance on the “SmartLess’ podcast, Burns told hosts Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes that the current era of American policy is equal to the previous “three great crises” before it.  

“It’s really serious. There are three great crises before this: the Civil War, the Depression, and World War II. This is equal to it,” Burns told the hosts. 


Burns also referenced a speech former President Abraham Lincoln made in 1838 where he said that America’s greatest threat is itself, according to Mediaite.

“We’re looking right down the muzzle of that gun,” Burns said. 

This comes as Burns’s latest documentary based on the life and legacy of boxing legend and civil rights icon Muhammad Ali premiered on PBS Sunday.