VSL// American history meets reality TV

Leave it to high school textbooks to make a bore out of a warring, exploring people. Luckily, the History Channel has righted that wrong with America The Story of Us (beginning 4/24)—an American history packed with enough excitement to give Davy Crockett a heart attack.

Each episode of the 12-hour series covers a major topic in American history, from the Revolution to the Millennium. But unlike with other historical programs, the bulk of The Story of Us is composed of impressively detailed live-action reenactments and sweeping computer-animated scenes, not to mention a thrilling score fit for a feature film. The narration consists mostly of interviews with historians, but it is enlivened with commentary by even the likes of President Obama, Meryl Streep, Donald Trump and Tom Brokaw. It seems the History Channel has managed to prove that though history may be long and complex, it certainly doesn’t ever have to be dull.

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