American Experience (TV Series 1988– ) Poster

(1988– )

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Consistently excellent.
MartinHafer20 May 2012
As a retired history teacher, it's probably not all that surprising that I love this series--especially as I taught American history. However, my love of it is not just for the subject matter but because the show is exceptionally well made throughout--and brings to life many otherwise dull or forgotten events through history. Because of very high production values, the show is nearly always the best example on a given topic that you can find. In addition, although some bash PBS for leaning too far to the left, often I have noticed that the shows are very balanced and have a certain fondness for their subject--no matter the political persuasion. For example, the show seems just as enthusiastic in extolling the virtues of an FDR as well as a George H.W. Bush. All in all, consistently the best historical series on television--brilliant and enjoyable episode after episode.
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The Masterpiece that is America
jtf8712 May 2008
American Experience is a series that is so large and grand that it is nearly too difficult to describe in review form. For over twenty years, PBS has made dozens of documentary films for this series which are often the best that can be found. The topics covered are too great to elaborate on. From Roberto Clemente to Harry Truman to the great Johnstown Flood, American Experience gives the viewer a higher appreciation of our nation's past along with its many struggles and many triumphs. American Experience allows us to have a better understanding of what we as a people have been and what we represent to ourselves and the world.
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Surpasses the History Channel by a miles
annodnosinut18 November 2010
American Experience is a superior program on PBS (no commercials, thank goodness) about events in American history that have been largely forgotten in recent history. Consider watching: The series on the Presidents shows the humanity of the man in the White House and how he shaped America to vision, sometimes successfully, and many times unsuccessfully.

Steven Foster,a pre-Civil War songwriter who was the first mega-star. He was the first to popularize African-American style music into mainstream society, and tried to become a respectable composer. By the time at the outbreak of the Civil War he was a has-been, and tragically died in 1864.

The Orphan Train was about the history of the New York Children's Aid Society (founded by President Theodore Roosevelt's father) and their mission to get children off the streets of New York and place them in homes in the Midwest and Southwest. The interview with people who had been transported was fascinating and heart wrenching.

The Dust Bowl was about the devastation in the 1930's that involved the plains of the Midwest. After watching, you begin to appreciate novels/movies about this period such as Grapes of Wrath and Three Faces West; and those who lived in the affected areas and what hardships and tragedies they endured.

Jonestown Flood, another tragic event in American history which in growing up I had heard about, but did not know the extent of events and how horrible it really was.
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Excellent Documentary
bilmar-13 July 2012
This is a wonderful film of a time past when in the future nothing has if you love history, watch it.

Angie Debo was a tireless researcher who did not understand why it is alright to take land that does not belong to you, become rich, and watch others die or become dependents to the state because you stole from them.

Has it become too time-honored a tradition in America?

The filmmaker, Martha Sandlin, does an excellent job of condensing very complicated material and bringing to life a woman who lived a full and energetic life.

BUT IMDb, please!!!! You have the wrong picture for Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo. PLEASE CORRECT IT!
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It's THE American Experience
trescia-114 February 2016
This program used to be called "The American Experience." Then it was suddenly and deliberately truncated to "American Experience" as part of a mysterious "update." An act which should live--in infamy.

Why did the producers of this program remove the "the" from the beginning of the title? I believe that this is something that should not, as Bush the Elder once said, "stand." Who dictated that the "the" should be removed? What sense does it make to take a perfectly reasonable title--"The American Experience" which describes what all Americans have in common, and what makes us Americans--and remove one word, thereby changing the meaning to, well, nothing. "American Experience" is a nonsense phrase. It's stupid.

If this was done "just because" I'd like to question the wisdom of spending money to change all the logos and promotional material, and re-do all the voice-overs and promotions. Scarce resources were spent on a stupid and pointless change for no reason? I don't believe it. This was done for a reason, and I'd like to know why it was done. If the motives were political, then it's a disgrace.
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