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A riveting adventure of how America was invented, AMERICA THE STORY OF US focuses on the people, ideas and events that built our nation, covering 400 years of American history in the most extensive and in-depth television series ever produced by HISTORY. From the rigors of linking the continent by wagon trails to the transcontinental railway, the engineering of steel-structured buildings, through to landing on the moon, this epic 12-part series is a grand cinematic vision of how this country was built. AMERICA THE STORY OF US brings this story to life first hand through patriots, frontiersmen, slaves, abolitionists, Native Americans, pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs and inventors. Sharing their thoughts on the building of America, and what it means to be an American, are a world-class group of individuals including Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, Tom Brokaw, John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Brian Williams and more. This special collection includes a bonus disc with over 100 minutes of brand-new footage as well as a book commemorating the series.
COLLECTOR’S EDITION DVD GIFT SET INCLUDES:
*The Original 12-Part Series
*A Brand New Bonus Disc With Over 100 minutes of New Footage
*The Stunning 400+ Page Companion Book, filled with over 200 illustrations, photographs, and historical documents
A combination of reenactments, photos, CGI, models, and other elements delivers a great deal of information here, along with frequent references to Americans' pioneer spirit, devotion to hard work, and belief that if you can dream it, you can do it. Yet this isn't an especially scholarly document. The events depicted, from the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's midnight ride to the Alamo and the Gettysburg Address, not to mention more lurid tales like the Donner Party and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, should be familiar to those with even a cursory knowledge of US history. The emphasis on star power, be it the comments from a parade of talking heads including actors, musicians, politicians (President Barack Obama among them), athletes, soldiers, and so on, or the focus on charismatic historical figures like John Brown, Daniel Boone, and many others, reflects our celebrity-obsessed culture. And the constant hyperbole (narrator Liev Schreiber intones some variation of "What's about to happen will change things forever!" at least half a dozen times in the first episode alone) becomes tedious. Then again, considering the number of Americans who can't find their own country on a map, presenting the material like a dramatic TV show instead of textbook was a shrewd idea. --Sam Graham --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.