A history of the American War of Independence.
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2004  

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Richard Holmes ...
 Himself - Presenter (4 episodes, 2003)
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A history of the American War of Independence.

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Epanastates kai Erythrohitones - I Amerikaniki epanastasi  »

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(4 episodes) | (2 episodes)

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1.85 : 1
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Not the British view but the anti-American view
5 October 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This series doesn't present the British view of the Revolutionary War, so much as an anti-American view of it. The underlying theme of the series is that a silent majority of colonists enjoyed British rule; that the founding fathers were manipulative schemers whose only goal was to draw Britain into a violent civil war; that the American supporters of the revolution and the militia were racist, violent louts, duped into the struggle. Clearly, the intent of the author, Richard Holmes, is for the viewer to extrapolate these characteristics, in a straight line, from the American population of 1775 to today.

For example, in the episode "The Shot Heard Around the World" Holmes dredges up an obscure print of the Boston Massacre, in which he claims the skin of Crispus Attucks, a black man and the first man killed in the revolution, was purposely "whited out". Holmes claims that portraying Attucks as a black man would have been bad propaganda for the revolutionary cause. Holmes never reveals how he knows this. And there's more. Holmes goes to some length to work in a single, unsubstantiated, atrocity: the desecration of the body of a British soldier. He compares the American militia to the Viet Cong and the mujahadeen -- without mentioning any differences in the goals of these groups. The list goes on.

Supposedly, this series was made in response to Mel Gibson's "The Patriot". It says a lot when an academic feels the need to respond to Mel Gibson on any topic. Instead of presenting the British view, it seems Holmes really wanted to give a sensationalistic, anti-American view, and, in the process, he's made himself the Roger Corman of historians -- strictly third-rate schlock.


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