Harper Lee: American Masters

About the Documentary

Updated May 26, 2015 One of the most influential American novels of the 20th century and biggest bestsellers of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) was believed to be the first and only novel by Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926), until now. On July 14, HarperCollins will release Lee’s earliest known work, […]

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

Full Episode

Watch the full documentary Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel here on the American Masters web site. Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel engages leading historians, biographers and personal friends to reveal a complex woman who experienced profound identity shifts during her life and struggled with the two great issues of her day: the changing role of women and […]

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

Interview with Margaret Mitchell from 1936

Margaret Mitchell discusses the ways in which she conducted research to retain historical accuracy in her novel Gone With the Wind in this transcription of a radio interview from 1936 for WSB in Atlanta, Georgia.

Harper Lee: American Masters

Outtakes: Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb, author of the critically acclaimed She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True and former Director of Creative Writing at  University of Connecticut, discusses Scout’s universally sympathetic voice and the ways in which To Kill a Mockingbird and all literature can act as an agent of change. Harper Lee: Hey Boo […]

Harper Lee: American Masters

Outtakes: Richard Russo

Novelist Richard Russo describes how he reluctantly read To Kill a Mockingbird as a student in Catholic school. Russo explains how the relationships described in the book influenced him as a writer and provided inspiration for his own characters in his Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Empire Falls. Harper Lee: Hey Boo airs Monday April 2nd at […]

Harper Lee: American Masters

Outtakes: James McBride

James McBride, author of the memoir The Color of Water, discusses how Harper Lee used the voice of her protagonists in To Kill a Mockingbird to bravely provide an accessible and radical point of view about racism in 1960. He describes and how today’s authors can expand upon Lee’s views. Harper Lee: Hey Boo airs […]

Frederic Remington: The Truth of Other Days

About Frederic Remington

With his dynamic representations of cowboys and cavalrymen, bronco busters and braves, 19th-century artist Frederic Remington created a mythic image of the American West that continues to inspire America today. His technical ability to reproduce the physical beauty of the Western landscape made him a sought-after illustrator, but it was his insight into the heroic […]

Rediscovering Will Rogers

About Will Rogers

“I never met a man I didn’t like.” H.L. Mencken called him “the most dangerous writer alive.” Damon Runyan dubbed him “America’s most complete document.” And Franklin D. Roosevelt credited him with bringing his fellow Americans “back to a sense of proportion.” He was a ranch hand, rodeo rider, vaudeville performer, film star, columnist and […]