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on 11 August 2010
This is a truly amazing series of documentaries about the founding of America. The historians who advised, and who also speak to camera in the films, are highly regarded in their field (Gordon S Wood on the Revolution, for example - how much more authoritative do you want?) and engaging in their presentations. I could have handled quite a lot more of that.

There is a great deal of time given over to the nuts and bolts of the military side of things, however. I imagine this is great for those who are interested in military history, but actually the emphasis on how each battle was fought and who the generals were and what everyone said in their correspondence didn't really amount to an analysis of the military campaigns, and sometimes looked more like a list of Stuff We've Got On This Battle.

Even so, I found the series compelling and I shall certainly watch it several times over, perhaps fast-forwarding through some of the middle episodes. I'd really love to see a more detailed historical/ideological series on this subject, in which some of those historians we see in this series are given a free rein.

Finally, thanks for giving Paine his due!
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on 2 September 2010
Having spent a memorable holiday in New England last June I realised that my knowledge of the Founding of America and it's fight for independence was limited to the Boston Tea party!

This excellent 6 DVD set combines two programmes made for America TV. What you do detect is that there were more commercial breaks, now of course taken out, but there is a lot of recapping. Indeed the last two sections are a complete rehash of the previous 11.

That said, this is still a most informative and entertaining set of DVDs and at a superb price.
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on 23 September 2010
Every history of the American revolution seems to miss out something and those on TV/film are usually the worst offenders, but I give this one high marks for including events that are avoided in most others, such as Washington's punishment by bare-back lashing of misbehaving soldiers and the executions of discontented troops who on different occasions either faced a firing squad or hanging when they objected too strongly about having to go without food for weeks and pay for months. These episodes from the History Channel also make it clearer than most that it was not the efforts of Washington's army that 'won' the war but a virtual invasion of America by France, with a massive force that Washington and the smaller American army hurriedly marched to join, and after which MPs in London simply voted to end hostilities against Americans and return British ships and troops home where there were also fears of an invasion by France across the Channel. The intervention of Spain in America, however, as with most other histories, is not mentioned, although it was Spanish troops, not Americans, who were opposing the British to the south, 'marching through Georgia' and occupying Florida at the time.
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on 27 December 2010
For the money you get quite a bit. Unfortunately you get too many recaps and ropey reconstructions.

The battle scenes are recreated with such a small budget that you get a completely misleading impression of the numbers and hence the scale. Recreations of the actions of the major personalities are crude mimes; get bad news: sweep the documents of your table.

The TV origins mean constant recapping of what happened before someone tried to sell you Coco Pops. Without the actual adverts this is otiose and annoying.

I'd say it's aimed at the level of a 12 year old. No offence to 12 twelve year olds.
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on 9 January 2011
Fantastic value for 6 DVDs telling the story of the American revolution.

Shame the box graphics show images of battle from the civil war and not the revoluton, could this be putting some purchasers off ?
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on 1 January 2011
Quite simply the best coverage of this subject I have found. I recommend anyone interested in the founding and development of the world's major power to watch it.
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on 16 November 2014
Great programme, i personally find the American war of independence very fascinating and found this series very interesting and informative and very enjoyable to watch
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on 19 January 2015
It was a birthday present for my husband who was very pleased with it as he is into american history especialy
the Civil War
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on 23 December 2014
Very advisable to anyone interested in history.It's a high quality product.
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