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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Excellent info... but with some faultsMarch 30 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a worthwhile set to purchase with excellent info... some are done in a documentary style while others are actual films about the lives of these famous historical figures and events. A lot of information you would not learn in school.
However, after watching a few of the DVD's, you start to notice that the info has become repetitive. You start seeing scenes from previous DVD's and the same info recut over and over again. On many, 3/4ths of the info is repeated and recut from prior DVD's adding just a few extra minutes of new info to each section. Some of it gets so repetitious that you begin to question if you are watching the same DVD as before. Thus, the editing jobs are terrible and not sequentially done. So the same things keep getting redone by recutting the same footage. At least 4 DVD's are wasted duplication... but if you don't watch them, then you miss the 10% of new info included. I marked 4 stars because of this deliberate repetition of recutting the same scenes to create extra episodes. I guess they think no one would notice?
There are also contradictions between the DVD's. One says Washington was 6'4" while another says he's 6'1" while yet another says he's 6'3.5" so it is evident that no one person was responsible for info continuity. One DVD on Washington was obviously written for the ego's of the authors of books on Washington who are doing the interviews and it leaves out his entire childhood.
However, the DVD on Benedict Arnold is exceptional. He is repeatedly mentioned throughout the DVD's, but one DVD is a movie of his life. I learned a lot of new things. I had been programmed to react to his name like everyone else... but I learned what caused him to do what he did and felt quite sorry for him after seeing the facts... which I did verify from other sources after seeing it on the DVD's. After watching how he was continuously crapped on after each heroic act he achieved in practically winning the war for our country... and how they refused to pay him; refused to reimburse him; a worthless General Gage stole his credit for the heroic battles he won: and how another corrupt leader in Philadelphia destroyed his reputation in the press because Arnold prevented his street executions... then this leader blackmailed Washington into backing him against Arnold by threatening to cut off all supplies to the military... then Arnold nearly losing his home, the death of his wife and the loss of his entire business because he had not been paid... while his promotions recommended by Washington (who adored him)... went ignored because Arnold did not have the bloodlines and had been indentured by his mother as a child... so he was constantly being spat on by the Congress for whom he was fighting these battles... Arnold was not one of the "in crowd" and was treated like rubbish no matter what great things he had done. You can see why this man did what he did. It was very sad. Worth watching. I had no idea he had been treated so poorly. It was a disgrace. If he had been treated with the respect and recognition he had earned, he would have never done what he did.
The DVD on Ben Franklin was also quite well done. There is quite a bit of info on him. I had no idea that he really lived all of his time in London and in France and very little in the US. Quite the womanizer too... but his quick wit made him quite popular.
The Crossing was another film in the set which was well done.
Again, the set is quite educational even with its flaws and repetition. It shows the good and bad of the building of a country and how each person was involved. The info on Samuel & John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton was also quite interesting to watch. How many people know that Former Presidents John Adams & Thomas Jefferson... although they did not speak for about 10 years after an ugly mudslinging presidential campaign... later became good friends in correspondence after their wives died with more than 150 letters sharing their love of literature... and both men ended up dying on the same date... which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence... July 4, 1826... John Adam's last words were, "Jefferson survives" but he did not know, Jefferson had died just a few hours earlier. An amazing coincidence. A shame our schools never teach these things.
Or that George Washington died from bad doctoring who after coming down with a cold, died because his doctors had "bled" over 5 pints of blood from him.
Just a personal observation which genealogists already know... but most people had been led to believe we have longer lives now and lifespans were shorter in the past. Just the opposite. Most of these famous men lived into their 80's and 90's (Franklin, Jefferson, Adam's, etc). A few in their 60's but the majority much older unless by war or other means. While people today are now dying in their 50's and early 60's by the droves. What they tell people and what is fact are two different things. Just read the obits and then compare the general ages on the records of the past to see for yourselves.
All in all... I definitely recommend this set of DVD's for the historic value and quality of presentation. The school systems don't teach these things so it is about the only venue for your family to learn about these events unless they like to read. The DVD's are enjoyable to watch and the actors performed their roles excellently. Even with the duplicated info and bad editing... the DVD's are still quality watching.
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
the founding of americaSept. 12 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a beautiful set. Great set for someone that loves US History or History Channel documentaries.
Disc One Founding Fathers: * "Rebels With a Cause" * "Taking Liberties"
Disc Two Founding Fathers: * "You Say You Want a Revolution" * "A Healthy Constitution"
Disc Three Founding Brothers: * "A More Perfect Union"
Disc Four Founding Brothers: * "Evolution of a Revolution"
Disc Five The American Revolution: * "The Conflict Begins" * "1776" * "Washington & Arnold"
Disc Six The American Revolution: * "The World at War" * "England's Last Chance" * "Birth of the Republic"
Disc Seven Ben Franklin Save Our History: "The Declaration of Independence"
Disc Eight Washington the Warrior
Disc Nine Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor Biography: "Benedict Arnold: Triumph & Treason"
Disc Ten The Crossing
Disc Eleven The Revolution: * "Boston, Bloody Boston" * "Rebelling to Revolution" * "Declaring Revolution" * "American Crisis"
Disc Twelve The Revolution: * "Path to World War" * "Forging an Army" * "Treason & Betrayal"
Disc Thirteen The Revolution: * "The War Heads South" * "A Hornet's Nest" * "The End Game"
Disc Fourteen The Revolution: * "Becoming a Nation" * "Road to the Presidency" * "A President and His Revolution"
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Extremely informativeNov. 23 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I have been wanting to buy this voluminous tomb for a few years and finally bought it when it went on sale. And what a buy this is. Wow.
In the 29 hours this collection takes, there's so much information here that after listening to this one could probably pass a Colonial American History exam and pass with flying colors.There are 13 separate History Channel productions here in one collection, from the Founding Fathers and Founding Brothers, to The Revolution (alone an awesome, spell-binding work), Ben Franklin and The Crossing. If you already own these sets separately, the price of this collection may not be worth it.
This compilation of 13 works produced through the History Channel/A&E collected into one 12-disc set accounts for some repetition and even a few contradictory comments about some of our Founding Fathers. (For more detailed reviews of these separately, just go to the respective DVD in question) Regardless, all throughout this set one gets the typical History Channel trademark reenactments, talking heads and dramatizations of these events.
My new personal favorite is "The Founding Fathers." Here you hear about the excessive drinking, dubious characters, feuding personalities and unethical behavior of some of our Founding Fathers. It's nice to hear the truth about some of these men without making them appear to be villains in disguise.
On a technical note, the set is nicely presented in a hard cardboard set. Two discs per holder are folded inside this set. It looks very nice on the bookshelf.
A perfect gift for the early American History fan.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
FOUNDING OF AMERICAFeb. 16 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The content is ecellent, but I was irritated by the intrusive music, which is so unnceccessary. When used judicioulsy, music can enhance, but when it overrides dialogue, it is destructive. The lack of subtitles was disappointing, which added to the frustration of trying to hear words over music. Until this company starts listening to people's views I shan't buy any more of their products, which is a pity for they have some interesting titles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Calling all PatriotsAug. 19 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
A must have. I want to tie down my Leftist friends and make them watch. In fact this should be mandatory for all public schools if not all citizens! dont get me started! The SELLER i had slight prob with which turned out to be my error. He was all class and integrity. But I digress...these DVDs will make you appreciate America more, yet make you sad and frustrated at how far we have strayed from what was intended. The founding fathers would not believe our country today.