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More about They Made America

You may not know their names; you may not know their stories -- but they made America.

American history is filled with the stories of influential innovators, whose ideas and entrepreneurial spirit gave birth to commercial milestones like the steamboat and cultural touchstones like the Barbie doll. Twelve of these individuals are profiled in They Made America, a four-part television series from the producers of American Experience.

They Made America examines America's evolution over two centuries, from the infancy of the country, to its growth as an industrial power, through its global reach today.

The inaugural production of WGBH's History Unit, They Made America features commentary from renowned editor and journalist Harold Evans, author of They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine -- Two Centuries of Innovation with Gail Buckland and David Lefer (Little, Brown, 2004).

"There's a culture of reinvention in America that you see embodied in the individuals we profile," says Mark Samels, executive producer of the series. "They Made America's individual stories have the cumulative effect of telling the story of the nation."

The Television Series
Read about the four films, and access transcripts and film credits.

Four early American innovators who got the new nation up and going.

Three immigrants who helped create modern urban America.

Three mid-20th century figures who contributed to American commercial dominance.

Two 21st-century American media entrepreneurs.

The Book
Learn more about the book by Harold Evans, They Made America: From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine -- Two Centuries of Innovation with Gail Buckland and David Lefer.

Behind the Scenes
Visit with the book and film production teams.

Primary Sources
Explore materials from the 12 stories told on television.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the history of American business innovation.

Closed Caption Logo

THEY MADE AMERICA is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

Descriptive Video Services Logo

A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.

page created on 6.30.2004
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