What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series FACES OF AMERICA. Building on the success of his series AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (called by The New York Times the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time ) and AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. turns again to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 11 renowned Americans. Looking to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests lives back to their origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama s inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, film director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actress Eva Longoria, actress Meryl Streep and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.