Lucy Worsley explores how American history has been mythologised and manipulated by generations of politicians, writers and protesters.
Part 1: The American Revolution
Examines the American Revolution – a David-and-Goliath battle of men with high ideals taking on the might of the British Empire. But how much of America’s founding story is based on fact?
Part 2: The American Civil War
Lucy debunks the myths behind the American Civil War. Travelling across the country, she explains how, although Abraham Lincoln has gone down in history as the saviour of the union who brought an end to slavery, he did it at the expense of the bloodiest conflict ever to take place on American soil. Lincoln’s ‘free’ North may have defeated the ‘slave-owning’ Confederate states in the South but, Lucy finds, the legacy of the conflict continues to affect American society. Meeting locals in Charlottesville, she encounters differing opinions on a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee. The statue became a fatal flashpoint in 2017, when at a mass rally, Confederate flags mingled with Klan costumes – sad proof, one historian suggests to Lucy, that the Civil War has never really ended.
Part 3: Supremacy
Lucy reveals the historic myths and deceptions told following the United States’ emergence as a superpower after the Second World War. We often remember the 1950s and early 1960s in America as a golden era of abundance, harmony and the American dream made real; this film reveals that to be a carefully constructed illusion. In truth, the era of America’s supremacy was a time of government deception, racial conflict and fears of nuclear annihilation.