"The American Experience" Chronicles the Lives of 11 Presidents Review

If you’ve never partaken of one of The American Experience’s profiles on the presidents of the United States, then you’re missing out on some very in-depth examinations of powerful men rising from humble beginnings. We reviewed the entry on Bill Clinton a few months back, and to be honest at the time we didn’t realize it was a part of a much longer series. It turns out The American Experience has chronicled the trials and tribulations of many US presidents and now they’ve assembled them in a 17-disc set that spans the careers of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

The set is a momentous achievement not only for being nearly 39 hours of solid information, but also for its presentation that makes each minute far more interesting than most would imagine possible. Each of the presidents covered in this anthology has a number of notable occasions in their presidential tenure and as you might expect we hear discussions on the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the institution of FDR’s New Deal, Nixon’s Watergate, Kennedy’s tense handling of the Cold War, and so much more. These men each faced down some incredible moments in US history and the lengthy looks into each of their presidencies give the viewer lots of information and do so in a very digestible format.

For teachers it could be an invaluable teaching aide, whereas for history buffs it’s a superb DVD set that is quite simply fantastic.

DVD Bonus Features

Sadly, for all the time spent on filming the main features, the set has no extras.


"The American Experience: The Presidents" is on sale August 28, 2012 and is not rated. Documentary, Education.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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