America The Story of Us 1 Season 2010

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Season 1
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(1,174) IMDb 6.5/10
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1. Rebels TV-14 CC

From Jamestown to Plymouth, early settlers fight for survival. Tobacco sows the seeds of opportunity in the south, the north becomes a powerhouse of trade, and the American spirit is born.

Starring:
Liev Schreiber, Daniel Webb
Runtime:
46 minutes
Original air date:
April 25, 2010

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Rebels [HD]

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Season 1
Available on Prime

Customer Reviews

Every episode is worth watching.
Amazon Customer
America: The Story of Us gives an excellent overview of American history.
Zarathustra
I just can't say enough bad things about this DVD.
Mac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

310 of 338 people found the following review helpful By Bridge on May 23, 2010
Format: DVD
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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135 of 151 people found the following review helpful By M TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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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160 of 181 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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173 of 220 people found the following review helpful By L. S. Reed on May 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The History Channel has been criticized for its recent specialty in "he-man" reality shows about truckers, sharpshooters, and lumberjacks or wacky conspiracy theories and New-Agey faux history topics (Templars, Nostradamus, ancient astronauts, etc.). This series has been widely heralded as the History Channel's return to its roots, but they might have been better off sticking with Ancient Astronauts and the Templars. Quite simply, this series is awful.

Even a lot of the negative reviews miss the point. If it was just a problem of using celebrity commentators rather than historians, questionable emphasis, or leaving things out, I'd have no problem with this series. As a US History teacher, I'm fully aware of how ponderous specialist history can be. There's a place on TV and in the classroom for accessible, interesting presentations of US history, even if they "leave some things out." I bought this specifically with the idea of showing it to my students. But it's not a matter of celebrity talking heads or "leaving out something real important," it's a matter of inventing US history out of thin air. Quite simply, this ISN'T US History. I'm not really sure what it is, but anyone who subjects their history students to this garbage is really being irresponsible.

OK, first of all, you have to swallow the weird videography: the endless, repetition of sweeping airborne pans of the wilderness or the seacoast, slow motion close-ups of a bullet flying through the air, and animated shots of the bottoms of sailing vessels. Either they have a very small video-clip library or the world's most unimaginative video editor.
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