Faces of America
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Top Customer Reviews
What Gates and his team (note there is no "Director" listed on the main credits) did was find 12 folks you've probably heard of and traced their lineage back at least 4 generations - in some cases as far back as 15 generations. (One of them is a distant cousin of Charlemagne! I won't tell you which one though.) The diverse group includes skater Kristi Yamaguchi, chef Mario Batalli, comedian Stephen Colbert (you learn how his name pronounced), cellist Yo-Yo Ma (you'll learn where his name Yo-Yo came from), Director Mike Nichols, Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria (a true Tex-Mex woman as you'll see), actress Meryl Streep and even a real Queen (Queen Noor of Jordan!).
The stories are not told linearly and Gates - who not only meets with the subjects in their own home or workplace, but also travels the world - jumps back and forth. Batalli and Nichols show up in Episode One but don't come back until Episode Four. Streep seems to be in every one, as does Colbert. For much of the fourth episode the discussion turns to genealogy through DNA testing. Fascinating, but a bit more complicated than the physical research covered until that point.
Each of the subjects gets a unique surprise finding and I'll not spoil the fun for you by revealing any of them here. I found the Ma family history and Mike Nichols to be the most surprising.Read more ›
And when it is revealed to Latina Tex-Mex actress Longoria that she and Yo-Yo Ma share an ancestor, she leans forward and asks about Yo-Yo Ma --
Warm, and rich, it will stretch your imagination and understanding of the actual history of the US, and the complexities of the US's fabric. At the same time, this series shows that we are all more alike than different. Kudos to Professor Gates for his wonderful generosity (see his gift to Yo-Yo Ma!), which is given not only to the celebrities upon whom he focuses but to all of us.
Don't miss this!
The presentation is in four one-hour parts. Each part has the same subjects. They are just taken back further in history or a different facet of their lives. The presentation style is in sound bite form where Henry goes round robin form one person to the next and back again. This does not necessary follow any logical pattern.
However, we find this fascinating and makes one speculate about one's own origins. There are more in-depth presentations and more detailed in how they go about it. Nevertheless, this program stands well on its own.
"Who Do You Think You Are?" (2010 TV series documentary) U.S. version of the BBC series
Who Do You Think You Are? - Series 1-4 - 12-DVD Box Set ( Who Do You Think You Are? - Series One, Two, Three & Four ) ( Who Do You Think You Are?: Series 1 - 4 & How To Trace Your [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]
I found the revelations fascinating.
I have a family tree of the Prescotts, my mother's relatives who came to Massachusetts from England (and I even met some of them), but I know little about my mother's father's family, who I think also came from England.
I know little about my father's parents except that my grandmother came to Missouri from Germany (I thought from Danzig, which is now Gedansk Poland), but I contacted my sister who found some relatives who will have better information. I believed that my grandfather came from Dodge City, Kansas, presumably from a Welsh family (Jones is a Welsh name). When I was a child I spent many summers with my father's parents, but I learned little about their ancestors.
I would like to trace my relatives, but I am not famous so it is unlikely that I will appear on Faces of America 2. I will have to do the work myself (maybe I'll find some American Indian or African relatives).
I have 7 DVDs and 1 blu-ray by Dr. Gates, and I have learned a lot from all of them. I have another on the way: Wonders of the African World from 2003, which runs 330 minutes. Since few Americans have studied African history in school, I know little about the subject. I did read all the books I could find in the library about the heroes of the slave revolt in Haiti when I was in middle school.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like his follow-up series "Finding Your Roots" Henry Louis Gates Jr exams the history of the family of celebrities. Read morePublished 8 months ago by the q word
Compared with Finding Your Roots - no comparison - buy Finding Your Roots.Published 13 months ago by John Terry
Excellent! This kind of stuff could bring peace to the whole wide world!Published 18 months ago by angryatyou!!!
All went well with order. Wonderful DVD if you are interested in genealogy and DNA.Published 18 months ago by L. McGoff
I have enjoyed this series immensely. I have found it both entertaining and educational and would highly recommend it. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Matthew Brinsfield