Simon Schama looks to the American past to explain the American present and future: the hopes, and agonies of a great national crisis in the tumultuous year of a Presidential election.In 2008, the people of the United States, beset by troubles, but firm in their faith in an American future, plunged into an intense examination of how they had arrived at this critical crossroads in their history; how their prosperity has run aground; and their pride of place in the world ended up questioned by so many around the globe.
Historian Simon Schama who has spent half his life in the United States takes us on a journey through time and place to discover deep America; an America which in four critical issues - war, immigration, moral fervour and the difficult gap between expectations of plenty and the reality of limited resources -has arrived at a moment of truth.
The drama of that moment powers four compelling films and brings to the screen an extraordinary company of Americans, past and present, famous and unknown, the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson alongside contemporary soldiers, pastors, and farmers. Through Schama’s storytelling and breathtaking visuals, it's possible, for once, to feel yourself, not just on the surface of the American surface but deep inside its core. Watch these films and you can taste the real America, captured unforgettably at one of the great moments in its national destiny.
Written and Presented by SIMON SCHAMA Producer/Director: SAM HOBKINSON & RICARDO POLLACK Series Producer: NICOLAS KENT Executive Producer for the BBC: EAMON HARDY Producer: SUSANNAH PRICE Associate Producer: MATTHEW HILL Series Assistant Producer: CHARLOTTE SACHER Production Manager: GLYNIS ROBERTSON Production Coordinator: HILARY GROVE Composer: ANDY COWTON Editors: JAN CHOLAWO, JOE CAREY, PAUL BINNS An Oxford Film and Television Production for BBC