America: The Story of Us

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
America: The Story of Us TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
U.S. history gets dramatic in worthy educational series.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series offers extensive but relatively neutral discussions about the events that have made America the country that it is today.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Early American rebels, leaders, and explorers are subtly presented as American heroes. The role of women, Native Americans, and African Americans are briefly included in these discussions.


Contains lots of dramatically violent scenes of riots, rebellion, and battles. Muskets, guns, rifles, bayonets, bullets, cannons, etc. are frequently shown being used to kill during battles and guerilla attacks. People are also shown being burned at the stake. Bloody wounds and dead corpses are visible. All of this is offered in a historical context.


Contains some discussion about prostitution as a result of historical events.


Bank of America is a major sponsor of the show; in between show segments commercials that look like part of the series are shown. Valspar paint is also a sponsor.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The role of tobacco production on America’s early economy is discussed. The consumption of alcoholic beverages (rum, ale) is sometimes shown (and/or talked about). Drug use and addiction, as it relates to history, comes up.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this educational series offers visually graphic reenactments of American historical events. People are shown being shot, blown up, stabbed with bayonets, etc. (bloody wounds and dead corpses visible). There are also brief discussions about prostitution, cannibalism, slavery, Native American displacement, disease, starvation, and other strong topics. All these themes are offered within a historical context, but may be a little disturbing to younger and/or sensitive viewers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byt s April 4, 2020

Used greusome outliers and graphic imagery to sensationalize. Had little depth of content.

I would give more stars for the reenactments and production in terms of bringing history to life . However, the content had little depth, even for me - I am no... Continue reading
Adult Written byrick.harris83 May 6, 2019

A good TOOL to help reinforce a history concept

America: The Story of Us is a great way to reinforce a topic from your child's history lessons. Please do not take these as stand alone and be all end all... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDeetz March 6, 2021
This is a great show. I learned so much about the history of America watching this show. Please watch this show. You will enjoy it.
Written byAnonymous February 26, 2021

I belive that this documentary series is a good way to learn the harsh parts of war in a some what fun to watch way!

This may be not for all audiences, there are some strong themes that are definitley NOT for all ages such as a man getting his leg cut off with a crude bonesaw... Continue reading

What's the story?

AMERICA: THE STORY OF US is a six-part documentary that offers a detailed look at some of the prominent political, economic, and social figures and events that have molded America throughout the past 400 years. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, it uses dramatic reenactments and special effects to illustrate each significant period in America’s history. It also looks at the country’s enthusiasm for exploration and discovery out on the frontier, both out West and in space. The technological innovations that made all these things possible are also discussed. Insight from notable politicians like Rudolf Giuliani, military figures like Colin Powell, business people like Donald Trump, and Hollywood actors like Michael Douglas help explain the significance and consequences of these events, both major and minor, on the overall impact it has had on the formation and evolution of America.

Is it any good?

The docuseries attempts to make itself both informative and entertaining by using creative computer graphics and interviews with notable political, educational, and Hollywood figures to talk about American history. While it succeeds on most fronts, there are times when the special effects seem to make parts of the overall narrative drag on more than it should. Sometimes the presentation of multiple events seems a little scattered, too.

Kids may not be clamoring to see it, but history buffs and educators will most certainly appreciate what the series has to offer. President Obama’s introduction to the series also makes it pretty exciting. Overall, it is an inspired look at what makes the United States the country that it is today. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about American history. What are some of the key events in U.S. history that made America the country that it is today? Are all of these things good things? Are there things that you wish had happened differently? Why? Do you think American history would be told differently if it were told from a specifically female, African-American, or Native American point of view?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

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