DVD Review: The Men Who Built America


“America wasn’t discovered. It was built.” History Channel

The Men Who Built America is the latest in the History Channel epic series of builders and dreamers: Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist who led the massive expansion of the American steel industry. Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, Carnegie’s ‘rags to riches’ tale details his experiences and importance in events in American history that occurred during his lifetime. J. P. Morgan, an American banker, financier, and philanthropist dominated the industrial consolidation during his time. Henry Ford, American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Cornelius Vanderbilt, an American industrialist who found his wealth in shipping and building railroads, and John D. Rockefeller, also an American industrialist and philanthropist, like the others aforementioned, set the standard for what we know as the American Dream.

Using state of the art computer generated imagery that incorporates 12 million historical negatives, many made available for the first time by the Library of Congress, this series will bring back to life the world they knew and the one they created. The event series will show how these men took a failed experiment in democracy and created the greatest superpower the world has ever seen. We see how their historic achievements came to create the America of today.

This highly intriguing docuseries that connects these businessmen to the relevant big names in business today. The series begins in 1865 with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. From then on the narration begins; where the first generation entrepreneurial “all stars” found their beginnings. From ships to railroads, oil began to revolutionize a new demand for industry. This demand connects Vanderbilt to Rockefeller. As the series begins to connect each of these business leaders through a series of enactments–link commentary to today’s modern day business leaders, Ted Turner, Mark Cuban, and Steve Wozniak, and many others who discuss how sheer will to outsmart, buy out, or out muscle the competition. The eight episode series paints a critical portrait of these men almost to the point of sensationalism. Though understanding that a lot of what we have now we owe to these founding financial industrialists, they paved the way for a rapid technological expanse, and newly emerging economy.

Highly recommended.

The Men Who Built America ‘highly collectible’ 3 – Disc Collection includes:

  •  A New War Begins
  • Oil Strike
  • A Rivalry is Born
  • Blood is Spilled
  • A New Rival Emerges
  • Owning it All
  • Taking the White House
  • The New Machine

Plus Bonus Footage never before seen on television:

Disc 1:

  • Andrew Carnegie – a featurette narrated by David Nasaw, a Carnegie biographer, that detail Carnegie’s humble beginnings, to be known as the “first” American hero.
  • “From Rich to Richer” featurette: Historian H. W. Brands detail a not-so rags to riches tale of J. P. Morgan–but from rich to richer.
  • Trailers

Disc 2:

  • The American Dream”
  • “Monopoly”

Disc 3: 

  • “Competitive Nature”
  • “The Every Man”
  • “The Rise of Cornelius Vanderbilt”
  • “Traits of a Titan”

Widescreen presentation • English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio • Spanish and English subtitles • Approx. run-time: 360 minutes

All images and synopsis courtesy of the History Channel‘s ‘The Men Who Built America’ series. All rights reserved. 

The Men Who Build America
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent

Review Summary:

Meet the titans who forged the foundation of modern America and created the American Dream.

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