America: The Story of Us
by Katherine Montalto
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America: The Story of Us is a reimagining of US history using detailed sets, accurately costumed actors and CGI graphics in a 12 episode mini-series on the History Channel. The first one hour episode will air Sunday April 25th 9/8c. The History Channel will be giving a free copy of the entire series to every single school and accredited college in America – free of charge.
The first episode in the series starts with the colonists in Jamestown and then the Pilgrims thirteen years later. It follows these settlers as they first struggle just to survive but then after 100 years, they have the highest standard of living the world. This episode follows these early settlers to just before the revolutionary war, covering the divide that has formed between colonists and the ruling monarch. The story showcases the tenacity of the early American settlers fighting against all odds to succeed in an unknown world. Quite a few of America’s unsavory moments are glossed over and others are completely ignored such as the Salem witch trials and the end of peaceful partnership between the Pilgrims and the Pokanoket tribe.
The rest of the series is broken down into 1 hour episodes covering the chronological history of America. The revolutionary war is covered in the second episode, next is the expansion westward in covered wagons stretching America from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the American north and south become divided by the industrial revolution in the north and the slave powered cotton of the south, episode five covers the civil war, next the country is transformed by the transcontinental railroad and barbed wire, Americans begin leaving the country side to fill up the ever expanding cities, the country hits a boom with the discovery of oil and crime begins to pay as bootleggers profit from prohibition, the great depression devastates the nation, a sleeping giant awakens during WWII, and the series ends with America’s most recent history remembered first hand by many Americans alive today, the moon landing, civil rights, and the election of the country’s first African American President.
I previewed the first episode in the series and found it to be very entertaining and informative. The reenactments and CGI effects are dynamic and well planned out helping the viewer visualize history in a way that hasn’t been done before. This series is in line with the channel’s other quality programs such as Modern Marvels and Life After People and is in direct contrast with the infotainment pseudo-history shows on subjects like UFOs and Nostradamus. I’m excited to watch the rest of the series when it airs. I think each episode has something wonderful to offer. A must see for American history buffs!
Premieres on The History Channel on Sunday, April 25, 2010, 9pm ET/PT.
History is launching the ‘America the Story of Us Sweepstakes’ on the new social mobile platform Foursquare! Check it out here.
Katherine Montalto is a freelance writer but works various odd jobs to pay the bills such as a chef, candy maker and dog walker. Cake is one of her favorite indulgences. She will travel anywhere at any distance to get it, once even crashing a dinosaur’s birthday party. More of Katherine’s work can be found at www.killmonkies.com.
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