FROM THE ROOTS OF THE REBELLION & THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATON OF INDEPENDENCE, TO VICTORY ON THE BATTLEFIELD AT YORKTOWN & THE ADOPTION OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, THIS TELLS THE REMARKABLE STORY OF THIS PIVOTAL ERA IN AME... more »RICAN HISTORY.« less
Andrew Violette | Hoffman Estates, IL United States | 02/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A great examination of the American Revolutionary War by the History Channel. Includes interviews with historians, battlefield maps and examinations of troop movements, letters from the battlefields, and actor portrayals of battles and historical figures.
The Revolution starts out with the examinations of the cause of the revolution, such as colonial resentment of taxes levied after the Seven Years' War without any representation. It follows this through the forging of the Declaration of Independence and the battles of the Revolutionary War. It finishes up with the problems facing the nation after the war.
I don't think I had a good enough realization in school with how hard times were for these soldiers as they waged war. This video goes into detail with the troubled supply lines that plagued Washington's army, the heavy desertion and mutiny (which Washington clamped down on with some extraordinary tactics), and the many failed battles that occured in the first few years of the Revolutionary War. It covers internal conflicts between such characters as Horatio Gates and George Washington.
Also discussed are Benjamin Franklin's efforts in France to recruit the French navy and John Paul Jone's foray into Britain and Ireland.
The first half of the series covers the battles in the north and the remaining few episodes discuss how the battles move south into Savannah, the back woods of the Carolinas, and finally Yorktown.
One problem with the series is that they tend to recycle the interviews and footage throughout.
US history books tend to lionize the founding fathers, but this series (and books such as the Founding Brothers) show how none of these people was perfect, and shows their faults as well as their strengths. I came away with this series (which I downloaded from iTunes, BTW) with a much better understanding of the Revolutionary War."
A Brilliant Production of the First Rank!
Tia Chrystine | USA | 04/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
There is left little for me to add to the Reviews already given here, but such little I gladly offer.
Andrew Violette's Review (see below) is clear, succinct and contains the best part of what I look for in a good review. I will say however, that I would disagree that the very few instances of repeated material throughout is in any sense or manner a detraction from the whole. After all, inculcation is itself a perfectly legitimate method of `teaching' and imparting important, complex and/or meaningful information, and the visual scenes which may be repeated here and there are in no way detracting, as the whole is done with impeccably good taste, style and an almost epic grandeur. Indeed, the few instances of repetition are so brief and far between, one hardly notices. If the content itself weren't so forceful in beauty and import the first time, one would probably not notice it at all. In all events, rather than finding such to be a fault or `problem' in the series taken as a whole, I regard it simply one more aspect which deepens and enriches its instructional value.
On the whole, "The Revolution" is a Masterful documentary production, brilliantly executed, sweeping and breathtaking in scope and in every sense, a First Rate production for a `Principle Events and Characters' overview of the American Revolution (with emphases placed squarely on the Martial aspects - as well it should be: as is rightly said by one historian - "The Army is the Revolution"). I know of no other like Documentary Series which so lavishly and tastefully achieves this rather daunting task.
We all know that in life and `this world' as it were, we rarely if ever encounter anything we deem `perfect' in every sense. So what? That one might find something to criticize can surprise no-one, yet it is a shame I think to allow such to detract from what is as a whole a genuinely masterful achievement.
My husband and I frankly tire-ourselves at times criticizing the `usual' self-serving, ignorant, poorly directed, mismanaged, bungled & botched documentary on this or that historical subject. To come across a documentary series such as this is such a refreshing exception, I cannot help but sing its praises. Without the faintest hint of hesitation, I recommend this Superb series to anyone interested in the American Revolution, be they wholly ignorant of the subject, amateur history buff or professional historian. Whether one is learning something new from beginning to end, or learns nothing new whatever, it is simply a delight to behold and, I will say - worth every *American* penny spent.
For the Review comments of John Aldrich (see below), all I can think is that he must unfortunately have gotten either defective disks or have some other technical issues. I have seen no `white dots' or lines and that it is in letterbox format (which I genuinely cannot stand), frankly, I hadn't even noticed until I made conscious effort to look. Nothing is lacking in the brilliantly clear DVD quality one has every right to expect; nor is there any shortcoming as regards the manner in which it was filmed. It certainly doesn't look like `video.' I thought it looked brilliant when watching it on cable and recording to DVR - the DVD version only seems yet more clear and glittering, to me.
In short, a positively First Rate production in every respect and highly recommended. One documentary series I will joyfully watch again & again with repeated, if not ever-increasing pleasure and appreciation. If only this achievement might become the Standard by which all future documentaries are produced - I would have No complaints ...
The Best Revolution ??
J. M. Theriault | Somerset, MA USA | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've watched countless documentaries about The Revolutionary War and this is one of, if not the best I've seen. It is a comphrehensive look at the war, its causes, battles and political struggles starting with the Stamp Act in 1765 and ending with Washington taking the oath of office in 1789 as the first President. Historian and Author comments provide insight and facts that help put the viewer in the mind set and feel of this conflict. Some history buffs will notice inaccuracies in uniforms and weapons but it does not take away from the overall quality of information presented. I highly recommended this DVD set."
Informative and Entertaining
S. Eccles | Newington, CT | 07/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I particularly liked the emphasis on the political aspects of the Revolution, in addition to the military. And the series focused on events often left out or shortened in documentaries, such as the southern battles. I would encourage history teachers to use this series in their classrooms.
The last two segments might have been skipped, since they didn't offer any new information. But they provided a recap of the series."
Very Well Done!
Dave H | Rochester, Minnesota | 04/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I usually like the PBS history better than history channel history, so I bought the PBS series on the Revolution first. I was a little disappointed at the lack of detail in the PBS series. This one by the history has the detail I wanted and is very interesting and well done. Being honest with you, you'd swear the series was taken directly from the book "Patriots" by J Langguth, because if follows the exact same approach, though there is no apparent credit given to Lagguth in the video series."