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The American Future: A History 

To coincide with the US elections of 2008 comes this refreshing antidote to the whir of sensationalist spin and scandal, measuring up to the seriousness of the moment without diluting the ... See full summary »






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Series cast summary:
Simon Schama ...  Self - Presenter 4 episodes, 2008
Chuck Alawan Chuck Alawan ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Richard Amaya Richard Amaya ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Rod Braga Rod Braga ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Larry Choate Larry Choate ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Curtis Collier Curtis Collier ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Don Eden Don Eden ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Alberto Gonzalez Alberto Gonzalez ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Nita Gonzalez Nita Gonzalez ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Mark Anthony Green Mark Anthony Green ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Vergie Hamer Vergie Hamer ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Abe Henry Abe Henry ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Johnny Hunt Johnny Hunt ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Jack McConnell Jack McConnell ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Jim McConnell Jim McConnell ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Charles McLaurin Charles McLaurin ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Pat Mulroy Pat Mulroy ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
David Plylar David Plylar ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Reva Rohe Reva Rohe ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Epifanio Salazar Epifanio Salazar ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Ricardo Sanchez Ricardo Sanchez ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Freddie Valenzuela Freddie Valenzuela ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Raphael G. Warnock Raphael G. Warnock ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Chuy Zuniga Chuy Zuniga ...  Self 1 episode, 2008
Dick Cheney ...  Self (uncredited) unknown episodes
Barack Obama ...  Self (uncredited) 2 episodes, 2008


To coincide with the US elections of 2008 comes this refreshing antidote to the whir of sensationalist spin and scandal, measuring up to the seriousness of the moment without diluting the excitement of campaign politics. After 9/11, Katrina, Enron and Baghdad, the robustness of American optimism is struggling to reassert itself against the sobering reality of military frustration and domestic anxieties. This is an America grappling with an un-American sense of its own limits. This series offers a timely and gripping vision of the United States - past and present - facing its moment of truth.

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User Reviews

Quite Disappointing
30 April 2010 | by kayaker36See all my reviews

Simon Schama, CBE, started out as an art historian. You can see him, much younger and bearded, as a contributor to the Michael Wood series "Art of the Western World" made in the mid-eighties. "The Power of Art" which he produced and hosted some twenty years later, also is brilliant, looking at renaissance and modern artists in strikingly novel ways and fully exploiting high definition technology.

Schama branched out into general history, the history of England in particular. Also, he is a professor or art history at the very prestigious Columbia University in New York City, residing in suburban Westchester County, just north of the city as he states in passing in the first of this four-part series.

Unfortunately, Prof. Schama is also a communist as this misnamed series illustrates. It is not about the future of America at all but about its sinful past. American history is presented in classic, Marxist style as class conflict. Racial and ethnic minorities, new immigrants, manual workers, all have experienced, if one would believe this series. little but oppression of the most brutal sort in this country, It is an unbroken litany of economic exploitation, racial prejudice and plain buffoonery on the part of the evil white American.

An example would be his portrayal of a group of elderly Chicano men in south Texas who get together to roast chickens and sing **corridos**, melancholy songs lamenting their separation from their home culture. Although resident for decades in the United States, none of them speak more than a few words of English, Schama notes with apparent approval. One must ask oneself how Prof. Schama would feel about a substantial group of British citizens (subjects?) who did not speak the national language and showed no interest in learning it.

Hostility in the American west toward the Chinese in the mid and late 1800's is described at length, including a little-known episode in Truckee, California in which the publisher of the local newspaper led the effort (successful) to drive all Chinese from the town, though non-violently in this instance. Absent from the story is the fact that anti-Chinese legislation was repealed in the State of California by popular referendum in the 1890's.

Perhaps some mention of resentment of the Overseas Chinese across the border in Mexico and in many countries in Asia--also violently expressed, and much more recent--would have added some needed balance to this narrative.

As might be expected of one well versed in the arts, this series is technically and artistically a triumph. There are striking images of the vast American hinterland and vignettes of the cities that seem never to have been shown before. There are interviews with ordinary Americans, some illustrating their prejudices but many of them showing a friendliness to white people belied by the overall themes of the series.

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Release Date:

10 October 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerika bőségszaruja See more »

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