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Friday, November 26, 2010

Liberty! The American Revolution DVD

A history teacher's review

When this first came out on PBS I started watching it and never got into the flow of it. I hated the fact that they used actors to play real people rather than using the tried and true (and fantastic) Ken Burns style. Ironically, I absolutely loved the book Liberty ! : The American Revolution by Thomas Fleming by - it is, hands down, the best single-volume comprehensive history of the American Revolution that I have found.
So, I was pretty much bashing the series because it was not something else. So, here I am years later and I decided to give it a second try. I am glad that I did.

Liberty! is much better than I remembered. It is not as good as the book but it the best documentary on the American Revolution I have seen. It is as thorough as one can be in the limited time that this format will allow.

"The Boston Massacre" by Paul Revere
As for the actor thing - this time around I really liked it. The actors are really good and the story is paced very well. The build up to the revolution is logical and shows how the logic of both the British and the American positions and how those positions led to the Revolution.

Liberty! does a good job of going back and forth from the political to the military action in the actual war. The last episode in the series covers the Articles of Confederation and the writing of the Constitution a little too quickly but it makes a good point about how the original argument about the Constitution are still the same argument we are having today - how much power should our national government have?
I rate this DVD set 5 stars out of 5.

This DVD set can be found on Amazon.com here: Liberty!

Reviewed on July 18, 2009.

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