Re: Simon Schama's Power of Art and other shows
How Art made the world - Nigel Spivey (BBC)
when I was in my early twenties we got a colour TV in the flat and Sunday nights were documentary night (only one channel) They ran four documentary series one after the other from the BBC. Although they are dated now I still watch them from time to time and bought the accompanying books. Civilisation - with Kenneth Clark, Connections - with James Burke, The Ascent of Man - with J Bronowski, and, a little later, Life on earth - with David Attenborough.
Art, technology, the philosophy of science, evolution - presented as history. Classics of their time and a major influence on my thinking. Even then I considered the first three a little ethnocentric (white and western), but individual visions worth hearing.
Alistair Cook's 'America' wasn't too bad but a just a bit triumphalist for my taste.