America The Story Of Us (3-Disc Collection) [DVD]
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Per Episode||Buy Season|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Sharing their thoughts on the building of America, and what it means to be an American, are a world-class group of individuals including Tom Brokaw, Michael Douglas, Meryl Streep, Buzz Aldrin, Colin Powell, Donald Trump, John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Brian Williams and more.
DISC 1 (Episodes 1-4): Rebels / Revolution / Westward / Division
DISC 2 (Episodes 5-8): Civil War / Heartland / Cities / Boom
DISC 3 (Episodes 9-12): Bust / WWII / Boomers / Millennium
Disc 1: George Washington, American Revolution, Declaration of Independence
Disc 2: Civil War, Transcontinental Railroad, Statue of Liberty, Henry Ford and the Model T
A combination of reenactments, photos, CGI, models, and other elements delivers a great deal of information here, along with frequent references to Americans' pioneer spirit, devotion to hard work, and belief that if you can dream it, you can do it. Yet this isn't an especially scholarly document. The events depicted, from the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's midnight ride to the Alamo and the Gettysburg Address, not to mention more lurid tales like the Donner Party and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, should be familiar to those with even a cursory knowledge of US history. The emphasis on star power, be it the comments from a parade of talking heads including actors, musicians, politicians (President Barack Obama among them), athletes, soldiers, and so on, or the focus on charismatic historical figures like John Brown, Daniel Boone, and many others, reflects our celebrity-obsessed culture. And the constant hyperbole (narrator Liev Schreiber intones some variation of "What's about to happen will change things forever!" at least half a dozen times in the first episode alone) becomes tedious. Then again, considering the number of Americans who can't find their own country on a map, presenting the material like a dramatic TV show instead of textbook was a shrewd idea. --Sam Graham
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The production values were excellent.
The re-enactments and computer animation were fast paced and created a sense of tension and energy. Read more
Outstanding - I think every American should be required to watch this series. It leaves you wanting more in-depth information. Worth every penny. I highly recommend. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you like History like me , you will enjoy immensely, great learning about our country.Published 12 days ago by kelly
The music annoyingly overpowers the narrative, the quotes ate trite. Couldn't bear it.Published 12 days ago by A. Gochis
Exceptional movie trying to define how we all get there. Great acting and great dialog. A must see for everyonePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer