They were the most legendary and respected politicians, statesmen and warriors of history's first republic since the days of ancient Rome. They were also traitors and smugglers, rabble rousers and hot-heads, unfaithful husbands and prodigious drinkers. Because despite what some history books and much folklore would have us believe, our nation's revered "Founding Fathers" were, in fact, human beings. Now, in this comprehensive four-part series, gain a fascinating, engagingly intimate glimpse behind the iconic images on the marble busts and the noble faces gazing out from our dollar bills and pocket change. And discover the remarkable, unseen private sides of the men who risked their reputations, fortunes and lives for the cause of American independence.
DISC 1: Rebels With A Cause / Taking Liberties
DISC 2: You Say You Want A Revolution? / A Healthy Constitution
The four programs from the History Channel in this set profile America's Founding Fathers, noting right at the outset they were a "mismatched group of quarrelsome aristocrats, merchants, and lawyers." The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution is told by noted historians, and the production is enhanced with beautifully photographed reenactments as well as intelligent use of period paintings and engravings. The story begins with Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Boston, whose protests against British taxation led to the Boston Tea Party. Moving on to the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, the brilliant delegates from the South, particularly George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, appear on the scene, and the story is told of how an improbable cohesion between the colonies began. Other main characters, including Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, appear in turn, and each of the major participants is portrayed in a biographical profile. How these men all came to act together, despite the stark differences in their backgrounds and temperaments, becomes the main thread of the story. They were all quite human, as the historians who appear in interviews remind us. Some of them drank too much, some had illegitimate children, some owned slaves, and some could hardly get along with anyone. Yet these men with complicated private lives worked together and performed heroically. This is an intelligently rendered and captivating look at the men who formed the American nation. --Robert J. McNamara