America: The Story of the US (3 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
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A riveting adventure of how America came to be, America - The Story of the US focuses on the people, ideas and events that built the great nation, covering 400 years of American history in the most extensive and in-depth television series ever produced by HISTORY™.
This epic 12-part series is a grand cinematic vision of how the country was built, and includes contributions from prominent Americans such as Michael Douglas, Meryl Streep, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, John Legend and more.
• From the executive producers behind Planet Earth and A History of Britain, this is the largest event in the history of HISTORY™.
• Special introduction by President Obama.
From executive producer Jane Root of Planet Earth, comes the breathtaking journey through history--unlike any other in the past 40 years--with live-action recreations of key historical events through the use of cutting edge CGI animation, giving viewers an immersive view of history in the making.
Rebels - This is the story of how, over seven generations, a group of European settlers survive against all odds, claw themselves up and then turn against their colonial masters. A diverse group of men, women and children are about to become truly American.
Revolution - 4 July, 1776. The Declaration of Independence is read to crowds in New York. Offshore, more than 400 ships bristling with soldiers and guns are massing. It is the largest British invasion force until D-Day. America’s 13 colonies have taken on the might of the world’s leading superpower. Within months, George Washington’s army has been decimated and defeat seems inevitable. Yet by 1783, America is free.
Westward - As the American nation is born, a vast continent lies to the west of the mountains, waiting to be explored and exploited. Yet this land is not empty - Native-Americans are spread across the land mass, as are Spanish colonists and French explorers. For the pioneers who set out to confront these lands, following trailblazers like Daniel Boone, the conquest of the West is a story of hardship that forges the character of America.
Division - America becomes a nation at the moment a revolution in commerce and industry sweeps across the western world. The construction of the Erie Canal - an audacious feat of engineering achieved against the odds with black-powder and hard work - results in hundreds of workmen being killed, but the pay-off is immense. This vast new country, rich in resources, experiences a rapid change in trade, transport and manufacturing, which quickly turns America into one of the wealthiest nations on earth.
Civil War - The Civil War rages. The terrible new technology of the minie ball is devastating Union and Confederate forces alike. It is 20th century technology meeting 18th century tactics and the result is a death toll never before seen on American soil.
Heartland - In 1869, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America, more than 2,000 miles apart, are linked by continuous metal rails. The Transcontinental Railroad, the world's first, is one of the most ambitious human enterprises since the Great Wall of China, and much of it is built by Chinese labourers.
Cities - Between 1880 and 1930, nearly 24 million new immigrants arrive in America. Many go to work building a new frontier: the modern city, one of America's greatest inventions. The high cost of land in cities like New York and Chicago means the only way to build is up. A new kind of building, the sky scraper, is made possible by steel. Produced on a massive scale by Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, steel production underpins the infrastructure of the modern city.
Boom - In 1910 in California, a column of oil nearly 200 feet high explodes out of a derrick and sets off a chain of events that will turn America into a superpower. Oil production doubles overnight and prices plummet from $2 to 3 cents a barrel. Quick to capitalise on this abundant cheap fuel is Henry Ford, a maverick entrepreneur who vows to bring the motor car to the masses. In 1900, there are 8,000 cars in the country. By 1930, there are over 20 million.
Bust - In October 1929, the economic boom of the 1920s ends with a crash on Wall Street. Between 1929 and 1932, $2 billion in deposits evaporate. The American Dream has become a nightmare. The stock market crash coincides with and is the central catalyst in the start of the Great Depression. Unemployment rises to more than one-fourth of the workforce and as confidence in US banks disintegrates, bank closures sweep the nation.
WWII - It is 1939, while war breaks out in Europe, America remains mired in a 10 year Depression. With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, America is brought into another world war, changing the nation from an isolationist continent to a global player, and ensuring economic prosperity once more.
Superpower - World War II transforms America into a global superpower. Fueled by technology, the economy booms, and a new age of consumerism is born. More than 20,000 cars roll off production lines daily. Interstate highways connect the country, just as the transcontinental railroad had done more than a century before. After defending their country and their ideals, the Greatest Generation comes home. Like the pioneers before them, they transform virgin territory, plowing up more than a million acres of land each year to build new suburbs.
Millennium - America booms in both population and prosperity. The "baby boomers" become the next generation to reinvent the country. Powerful new technologies sweep the nation. Television brings the world into Americans' living rooms, changing lives and values in unexpected ways. This revolution is not only about entertainment. Just as newspapers helped define America's identity during the Revolution and sense of self during the Civil War, television captures and influences a distant war in Vietnam, shaping Americans' response to their changing society.
Stills from America: The Story of Us (Three Disc Set) (Click for larger image)
Top customer reviews
If you want a crash-course in American history that's enjoyable to watch and not boring then this is for you.
I think it would make a great series for History class in British high schools, introducing American history to them for the first time.
All in all i found this very enjoyable to watch, it gave me an outline of the history and meant that i could take certain parts i found more interesting and learn about that more in depth in my own time.
Again, this documentary is about breadth not depth, hence its title "The story of the US"
I didn't expect much from it when i first saw the opening speech from Barack Obama and i norally find it diffuclt to take anything that involves dramatisations and re-inactments seriously, but i was very pleasantly surprised. The cheesiness you usually find with documentaries like this isn't present and instead you find yourself fully immersed.
Its truly a visual document of the basics and through the way it is directed the information it provides is very easy to digest. I would definately recommend it to anyone who is undertaking a course in American Studies or History; or even to anyone who is intersted in the subject.
it shows some interesting items and some of it is very good and well done. however there are some real inaccuracies( like the union only using railways during the civil war like a secret weapon when in reality it was partly why they got stuffed at the bull run ). plus for some reason you have film stars, music stars, and fiction authors giving their opinions on things, which comes across as just opinion based on not alot of knowledge further than watching this dvd would get you.
in short its a average place to start not bad, but not brilliant. you might find something in there you dont know about but dont bother if you have watched more in depth stuff.
p.s. it is a bit like watching a propaganda movie on how great america is in parts
The quality of the presentation is very good, with some great recreations of events and some nice CGI, plus a few snipets of real footage, although some of it repeats heavily towards the end.
You could be forgiven for thinking the Americans had invented everything from steel (Britain), the Motor Car (Germany), the road (Romans) , Concrete (a German), Radar (again, Germany), and on it goes.
Oh and the episode on World War 2 is a hard watch if you are not American as it seems to suggest the War was between USA and Japan, with an annoying distraction called Hitler in Europe who needed his ass kicking.
There's no doubt that when America finally did get involved in the war, the combined efforts of ALL of the Allies helped to bring about the end of the war, but it was a team effort involving massive sacrifice on all fronts.
Anyway, there's good stuff here too...like the building of the Hoover Dam, the rise of the great cities,and plenty of other stuff.
No mention of the Korean War, The Gulf War or the War In Iraq, or Afghanistan. Very little on individual presidents ( i can't remember seeing anything about the Kennedy assassination even). No mention of Charles Manson,The Watts Riots, virtually nothing on Martin Luther King etc etc etc.
Could have been so much better, but worth a watch anyway for a very basic history.
After a while you get a bit tired of the celebrities telling us how wonderful we (we, being Americans ) all are.
I love the states, have been many times, and have some great friends there, i don't think this series is a true reflection of the country or it's people.
All in all, the series is fine for free viewing on TV, but is not worth buying.
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