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America The Story of Us, Collector's Edition

1,393 customer reviews

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(Oct 18, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

A riveting adventure of how America was invented, AMERICA THE STORY OF US focuses on the people, ideas and events that built our nation, covering 400 years of American history in the most extensive and in-depth television series ever produced by HISTORY. From the rigors of linking the continent by wagon trails to the transcontinental railway, the engineering of steel-structured buildings, through to landing on the moon, this epic 12-part series is a grand cinematic vision of how this country was built. AMERICA THE STORY OF US brings this story to life first hand through patriots, frontiersmen, slaves, abolitionists, Native Americans, pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs and inventors. Sharing their thoughts on the building of America, and what it means to be an American, are a world-class group of individuals including Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, Tom Brokaw, John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Brian Williams and more. This special collection includes a bonus disc with over 100 minutes of brand-new footage as well as a book commemorating the series.


  • The Original 12-Part Series
  • The Stunning 400+ Page Companion Book, filled with over 200 illustrations, photographs, and historical documents
  • A Brand New Bonus Disc Featuring Modern Marvels: The Statue of Liberty


"The most in-depth series they've ever produced in HISTORY's history." --The New York Post

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Brokaw, Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powel
  • Directors: Nutopia Ltd, Actuality Productions, H-TV
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: A&E Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 552 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,393 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005D0RDM0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,388 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

339 of 368 people found the following review helpful By Bridge on May 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think all of the people complaining about the lack of academic level detail and scholarship in this series are missing the point. This 12 episode series is a really fantastic overview of American History. Oftentimes when we study history in school, through long, detailed books, over the course of several months, we tend to lose the forest for the trees. This medium of learning has it's place, watching this series you get a feel through a quick succession of stories, as to how America began and developed over the last two and a half centuries. What it lacks in "legitimate" scholarship it more than makes up for by it's production quality, compelling story-telling and entertainment. Another thing to note is the populist perspective of the series. Most history textbooks and academics focus too heavily on the actions of political leaders, but this series is truly about the "story of us" as indicated by its title. I was surprised to find that there was almost no discussion about the writing of the constitution, not much talk about the Presidents and the legislation they pushed through or the policies they enacted. Instead, the series incorporates a lot of anecdotes and stories of people and movements that shaped the course of this country, from the Chinese immigrants who built the railroads to the construction workers who built New York City, to historic figures like Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman and Andrew Carnegie. If I were a school teacher I would show my students this entire series at the beginning of each year, if for nothing else but to pique their interest in history and what they're about to learn in greater detail over the course of the term.
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147 of 163 people found the following review helpful By M on May 25, 2010
Format: DVD
First off, I am well aware that this documentary is not perfect. Having studied history, I feel that this documentary was lacking in some parts. Still, this series is solid and tight.

I learned a lot of neat trivia from this that I had not known before. This documentary feels to be geared more towards beginners, rather than scholars. If you're a history expert, you will find some parts lacking. (I am not a expert, but I do love history) but you will also most likely also learn some new things here. This would be a fun documentary for middle or high school students, as well as people who would like a basic (NOT a complete) overview of American history. I mean, it's impossible to give a complete overview of 400 years of history in twelve episodes, (less than twelve hours when you take out the commercials)

I can't say that I enjoyed all of the guest speakers, but some of them were rather relevant. Donald Trump talked about the Great Depression. Al Sharpton talked about the role of black people. And so on and so forth. Some of the guest speakers were better suited for their roles than others - I can't imagine why they would have Sheryl Crowe on this, but Rudy Guilliani was good. My biggest gripe was that they had P Diddy on there. COME ON. Why him? They also had the guy from Pawn Stars in the final episode, and I was excited to see him, but he didn't really contribute anything worthwhile, what he said didn't add anything to the documentary.

This is different from other History Channel documentaries in the past. It concentrates more on PEOPLE, not things/artifacts (this is why it's called The Story of *Us*) and the struggles, trials, and tribulations of a growing country.
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174 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Smith on July 4, 2010
Format: DVD
This six-night miniseries is a quick tour of American history from the first English colonies in the New World to the present. To properly hit every important event, person and place throughout American history is far beyond the scope of a series of this length. Nevertheless, it is a good view of all the most important developments that explain how the United States became what it is, without glossing over the darker spots such as Indian removal and slavery.

Some omissions (such as skimming over almost all of World War I) and some factual "Yeah, but..." moments in an otherwise good series would have earned a 4-star rating, but the 3-star comes from some of the people that they had commenting in the series. While some, such as Michael Bloomberg, make sense in the context of the material (for instance, New York City during the Revolution), there is no good reason to have celebrities along the lines of Sheryl Crow, Margaret Cho or Michael Douglas appearing in what's supposed to be a serious look at history. If there had been more historians offering their views instead of celebrities, then I would have gladly given this series 4 stars. As it is, it is enjoyable yet flawed, and receives three.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reviews by Zin on April 3, 2011
This is an unbelievable series! From the time I sat down and watched the first episode until the end of the final episode this show kept me wanting more! The beauty of this show is that after each episode, I feel like I have learned everything that I didnt care to pay attention to in Middle School and High School! The story is perfect, and its done in an entertaining way. This is a great series for the entire family or anyone that wants a better understanding of american history.
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