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DVD Review: America: The Story Of Us: Millennium
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America: The Story of Us: MillenniumAmerica: The Story Of Us: Millennium
DVD | Instant Video
Narrated by Liev Schreiber
History Channel
Release Date: July 5, 2011

America: The Story Of Us: Millennium is the last of this series that explores how The United States came to be the the wonderful country that we see today. Exploring the past and reviving it in a new form for current generations to enjoy, The History Channel has breathed new life into some of the greatest achievements in human history. This final disc is broken into two episodes that bring this wonderful journey to an end…so to speak.

In the first section, “Superpower,” the viewer gets to see how much America changed in the years right after World War II. We begin with the Interstate Highway System that created safer roads by which industries could transport their goods to the rural parts of the country. This, in turn, causes a housing boom in what is to become suburban America. Which leads to the coming of the Baby Boomers. And using the community of Levittown, New York as an example of how these areas popped up after the war to accommodate the returning soldiers, this episode explains how these manufactured communities created entirely new cities and towns and even helped populate some of the more remote regions of the country. This was a time of many changes, which leads us directly to the next installment in the series.

The second episode on this DVD (and last in this series) is entitled “Millennium.” Covering a lot of ground but not detailing it too much, this final chapter shows how the quest for mechanical and technological advancement pushed the envelope to give us all the great things we currently take for granted. The huge skyscrapers of yesteryear and other physical achievements such as the Eerie Canal and Transcontinental Railroad are massive accomplishments that shaped our nation and really galvanized who we are as a people.

Always embracing (to some extent) change, America has influenced the rest of the globe in many ways, especially through our innovative/entrepreneurial spirit. From television to personal computers, technology has revolutionized how we live in more ways than we realize. But this episode also shows how these advancements can destroy, as well, touching on horrible times such as the terror attacks of 9/11. Fortunately, our spirit remains intact and things that might have devastated another country seemed to do the opposite, really strengthening our resolve.

We are a melting pot of many cultures and the adversity that our citizens have faced created a much stronger people than anyone could have imagined. With appearances from David Baldacci, Colin Powell, Martha Stewart, Tom Brokaw and many others, we are given viewpoints of people from all walks of life and from a myriad of career paths. Through the eyes of these American icons we are given a glimpse of how they view our country and how these things have affected them. One thing holds true throughout the series, though. Bravery and effort yields rewards…it has created a nation that, while not perfect, definitely strives to be better.

I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD, though it did have some very saddening parts — such as the two shuttle explosions — unfortunately proving that seldom is anything gained without the occasional loss. This disc is a study in our not-too-distant past, it gives us insight into what made America into the nation it is today. And I have always been proud to be an American, but never more so than in this day and age. Change happens around us every day, history continues to occur, and things that we see as having minimal impact may one day turn out to be monumental. Isn’t life amazing like that?

These were a very worthy couple of episodes in an extraordinary series and a great gift for the historian in your life — no, scratch that…a great gift for the patriot in your life. I hope you take the time to watch them yourself, they’re definitely worth the time and effort.

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