Watch A New History of the American South
- 1 Season
A New History of the American South is a riveting series hosted by Edward L. Ayers that unveils an insightful, rich, and complex narrative of the South. The show is part of The Great Courses Signature Collection, which offers a broad range of engaging educational and informative programs.
The show is structured into 24 lectures, each spanning about 30 minutes, which analyze the major moments in Southern history, exploring racial tensions, political upheavals, cultural changes, and regional identity formation. Ayers uses his exceptional storytelling skills, drawing from his profound knowledge and expertise in Southern history, to paint a vivid and honest picture of the diverse, colorful, and often-dramatic history of the South.
Throughout the lectures, Ayers navigates the viewer through the intricate tapestry of Southern history, exploring the nuances and complexities of this culture that have made it unique in American history. Ayers does not shy away from difficult topics, tackling the often-painful history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the civil rights movement.
The viewer is taken on an exceptional journey, from the colonial roots of the South, including the arrival of the first Europeans and the evolution of plantation agriculture, through the Revolutionary period, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Jim Crow era until the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Ayers' strong passion for the subject is evident throughout the show, making each lecture both engaging and inspiring for those who enjoy history and politics.
The delivery of the lectures is accompanied by beautiful, high-definition visuals, including colorful maps, stunning photographs, and informative graphics that bring each period to life, making the viewer feel as if they have been transported back in time. The quality of the production is outstanding; sound and images are of the highest standard making for an engaging and truly immersive viewing experience.
One of the strengths of the show is Ayers' ability to weave social, economic, and cultural history together, bringing to light how each shaped the other, and ultimately contributed to the rich tapestry of contemporary Southern culture. He explains how the Civil War transformed the country and solidified the Southern identity, one that is deeply rooted in religion, agriculture, and honor culture, and how this became the source of both pride and shame for generations of Southerners.
By incorporating stories from everyday people, including farmers, slaves, intellectuals, politicians, and civil rights activists, Ayers brings the audience closer to the human stories behind the major events, making it easy to connect with the people of the time, despite the often-incredibly challenging circumstances.
Overall, A New History of the American South is an impressive and stimulating production that dives deep into the complexities of Southern history, exploring the unforgettable stories of this pivotal period in American history. Edward L. Ayers has created a show that is both engaging and informative, leaving viewers with a greater appreciation of the intricate tapestry of American history as a whole. For anyone with an interest in American history, this show is a must-watch masterpiece.
A New History of the American South is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (24 episodes). The series first aired on August 17, 2018.