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3.7 out of 5 stars38
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2011
This isn't a fully detailed historically accurate documentary, but man it is very inspiring to watch.

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"
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this is one of those series that tries to explain American history in bite size chunks. its fun to watch but the bite sizing is the problem. how do you explain the civil war in 42 minutes?

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
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on 12 December 2010
This series serves well as a quick review of some key moments in the developments of the US. However, it lacks depth and analysis. The series is overly dramatised and feels more like an item of propaganda than an account of historic events. All the views presented are of proud Americans and criticism is rare, if not absent. The episodes are peppered with minor detailed events that fill time for no obvious reason. It probably works as an introduction, especially for children, but not sufficient for curious adults.

All in all, the series is fine for free viewing on TV, but is not worth buying.
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on 22 October 2011
A stunning overview of the main events in American history. The blu-ray is spectacular and brings so many episodes of the story to life. The sound and picture quality is A1. Take no notice of the idiot reviewers who say this skims over American history. What do these people expect when you are trying to condense 250 years into less than a day's viewing? My only grumble was that the background music interfered somewhat with the scenes and could have been turn off like it was with the interviewees, but this is not enough to mark it down as a four star. For the current price the Blu-ray is tremendous, particularly for people who are keen to have a starting point of reading fuerther on American history.
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on 28 January 2011
With an introduction by the Prezident, we had high hopes.

This is fast paced, glossy, American MTV style History, without the adverts.
Unfortunately it's all very one dimensional, distracting and shallow.

Oh, and Donald Trump keeps popping up !!

It's a shame such an interesting subject has been so fouled.

Not worth the time or money, may I have a refund please ?

Suggest you check out the TV Mini Series John Adams, much more accurate, entertaining and balanced. Gives a good insight into the start of American independence, and the associated struggle.
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on 12 June 2012
While many of the episodes were fine, I'm enthusiastic about 20th Century History and noticed that the WWII episode was essentially a remake of 'Independence Day'. There's so much spin in this series that you'll get dizzy and the fatuous 'gee aren't we great' soundbites by various celebrities palled rapidly.

The coverage of this period of history was so skewed and so sparse that I began to wonder whether the history I know had even occurred. Of course they acknowledge that the rest of the world exists, but it's only really interested in how America kicked everybody's ass and saved the world, just as in Independence Day.

I acknowledge that without the US the war would have gone differently but they managed to start the discussion of the war at Pearl Harbour (understandable, that's when it started for them) but they neglected to mention that the allies had been fighting for two years already and that the lend-lease agreement was an important stimulus to the faltering US economy. Instead, it appears that the US were the only combatant worth mentioning. For example, although I was thankful to hear a two-second mention of Russia being involved in defeating the Germans, the story of D-Day only mentions the US beaches.

We in the UK were described as 'allies' - which, while technically correct, is quite big-headed considering that we fought alone until the end of '41 and many of the American public didn't care about the war until the Japanese 'played dirty' at Pearl Harbour. At least they were honest about how beneficial it was for them to become a major arms manufacturer and supplier to the rest of the world and acknowledged that the economies of Europe and the Far East had been junked by the war while America had been immune from damage to their own infrastructure - giving them plenty of space to grow into the economic vaccuum that remained.

This series is a feelgood 'cartoon' history of the US for people who live in the US. It's quite entertaining if you don't care about the detail. For those of us who live elsewhere, there are far better and more balanced sources of information.
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on 25 December 2013
This series is a basic story of how the USA was founded and has progressed through the years, with some wildly misleading information and some glaring omissions.
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 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.
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on 20 July 2011
All the reviews are about how this isnt very informative and doesnt have enough content, they are correct, however if you watch the series you will see that they were trying to make a documentary that was easy to watch and interesting, they were not looking to bore the audience or make it really long. VERY ENJOYABLE AND WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE WHO IS LOOKING TO GET A QUICK CRASH COURSE ON THE OUTLINE OF AMERICAN HISTORY !!
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on 3 December 2011
I join myself to the negative comments expressed by other reviewers, but I must also add that I found the sub-titles showing repeatedly in the same chapter the names of present day people who appeared, very irritating. I also found the "5 steps forward - 1 step backward" technique very irritating; people with normal intelligence don't need to be reminded of what they saw and heard two minutes earlier !
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on 29 November 2013
This dvd could almost help someone with their studies as it's very informative & very interesting.
I like the way it's set out & the content although the only annoying thing is where they keep on reviewing what's just been said, but that's clearly due to commercial breaks when this was first shown on the History Channel
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