Series Blog

New on American Experience online

"Nobody does presidential biographies better than AMERICAN EXPERIENCE." -Houston Chronicle

"AMERICAN EXPERIENCE's series on U.S. presidents is historical television at its best." -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A glorious example of what television can accomplish..." -Akron Beacon Journal 

Today, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE re-launches one of our most ambitious online collections -- The Presidents -- with more than 30 hours of streaming video, 250 primary source documents, and dozens of biographies, articles, timelines, and photo galleries. You can watch full-length documentaries on seven U.S. presidents, or sample any of our short videos on topics ranging from "What About the Economy?" to "When is it OK to Lie?"

Ranging from the unlikely story of the patrician New York governor who led the nation during the twin crises of the Great Depression and World War II, to the Hollywood leading man who became the icon of modern conservatism, "The Presidents" focuses on the intersection of public and private, character and history of those who sat in the Oval Office during some of the nation's most trying and triumphant times.

And premiering February 20 is the newest addition to our Peabody Award-winning Presidential biographies: Clinton. Over two nights, this four-hour biography of Bill Clinton explores the fascinating story of a man who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. On the Clinton website, you can browse two photo galleries and a timeline of Clinton's years in office. Come back over the next few weeks to read biographies of Bill and Hillary Clinton and an extensive Teacher's Guide, and keep and eye on Facebook and Twitter to chime in on which of our interviewees you would like to hear more from!

The Presidents Collection includes:
  - Video galleries on 11 timely topics - short clips lifted from our Presidents films, answering how the Commanders in Chief addressed each topic
 - Short biographies on each American President, detailing his domestic policy, foreign affairs, and presidential politics
 - Complete websites for each presidential biography, including articles, timelines, transcripts, teacher's resources, and primary sources
 - Twenty-nine hours of complete streaming films on FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush
 - Three ways to share your story:
       Which of the First 25 Presidents is Your Favorite?
       Who is Your Favorite 20th-Century American President?
       Have You Been Inspired by a First Lady?

Presidents included in the collection:
Bill Clinton
George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter
Richard Nixon
Lyndon Johnson
John F. Kennedy
Dwight Eisenhower
Harry Truman
Franklin Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Theodore Roosevelt
Ulysses S Grant
Abraham Lincoln

Following 14 very different paths to the White House, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE's Presidential biographies lead viewers across the nation's varied geographical landscape -- from Texas to Illinois, and California to Connecticut - and across a varied sociological landscape as well, introducing the high-born Roosevelts and the less well-off Trumans. Learn about the Pendergast machine and the Civil Rights Act, Watergate and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Great Depression and Hiroshima, an energy crisis and a hostage crisis. Meet a World War I doughboy and a World War II flyboy, encounter Winston Churchill and Nikita Khrushchev, and learn about the New Deal and the rise of modern conservatism. Explore factors as diverse as FDR's polio, Carter's faith, and Reagan's days as a lifeguard. Examine the crucial role of first ladies, and look at the challenges faced by vice-presidents, especially those who succeeded to office following death or assassination. Experience the complexity and rich variety of the 20th century -- the American century -- as it was lived by the men who helped to shape it.

We hope you enjoy our new Presidents Collection. Check back in next week, when we will be announcing the Season 24 lineup right here on the "Inside American Experience" blog with a special video post from our Executive Producer, Mark Samels.


Molly Jacobs is the Web Producer for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

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