Video Details

Biography of America, A

Grade Levels: 9 - 13+
Core Subject(s): Social Studies

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A Biography of America presents history not simply as a series of irrefutable facts to be memorized, but as a living narrative. Prominent historians -- Donald L. Miller, Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Douglas Brinkley, and Virginia Scharff -- present America's story as something that is best understood from a variety of perspectives. Thought-provoking debates and lectures encourage critical analysis of the forces that have shaped America. First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history -- how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens' lives. To view all the episodes in this series for free, and on demand, go to http: //


  • Contemporary History

    The entire team of historians joins Professor Miller in examining the last quarter of the twentieth century. A montage of events opens the program and sets the stage for a discussion of the period -- and of the difficulty of examining contemporary history with true historical perspective. Television critic John Leonard offers a footnote about the impact of television on the way we experience recent events.

    Length: 00:26:40
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Redemptive Imagination

    Storytelling is a relentless human urge and its power forges with memory to become the foundation of history. Novelists Charles Johnson (Middle Passage), Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha), and Esmeralda Santiago (America's Dream) join Professor Miller in discussing the intersection of history and story. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., closes the series with a reflection on the power of the human imagination.

    Length: 00:26:40
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021
  • Sixties

    Professor Scharff weaves the story of the Civil Rights movement with stories of the Vietnam War and Watergate to create a portrait of a decade. Lyndon Johnson emerges as a pivotal character, along with Stokely Carmichael, Fanny Lou Hamer, and other luminaries of the era.

    Length: 00:26:36
    Usage rights: 1/1/2003 to 2/28/2021