Last night the premiere episode of the History Channel’s 12 hour, six part series called “America: The Story of Us,” was broadcast. If the rest of the series is anywhere as balanced and well produced as this chapter called “The Rebels” it is absolutely a must for family viewing.
“The Rebels” starts with the landing of John Rolfe at Jamestown and takes the viewer through the Battle of Yorktown. A mixture of reenactments, CGI and commentary by American’s from politics, media, business and academia the series is compelling and informative. Even the introduction by President Obama was palatable and free from self reference.
There were several historical facts that took me by surprise and I always thought of myself as a bit of an expert on “Us”. I learned that the first African-Americans came to the future United States as contract workers in Jamestown. I was also unaware of the heroic experiment by Washington at Valley Forge in inoculating his army against smallpox.
I could not find any information on the writers and producers of this excellent series on the History Channel’s website and the credits whizzed by pretty quickly at the end of the show but they are to be congratulated. The History Channel in a brilliant marketing move is also offering the series free on DVD to any school who would like one. The details for this offer are available at http://www.TheHistoryChannel.com
If nothing I have said convinces you that this is a great series the fact that The Christian Scientist Monitor praised it and famed liberal and TV reviewer Tom Shales panned it should have you setting your DVR.