Jon Meacham, a distinguished presidential historian, contributing writer for The New York Times Book Review, contributing editor at TIME, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, delves into the roots of American history, contending that conflict is the crucible from which history emerges. In his exploration, Meacham dissects the shaping of America’s soul by the juxtaposition of “our better angels” and our darker instincts. Drawing from pivotal moments such as the post-Civil War Reconstruction, the tumultuous rise and fall of the KKK, and the establishment of the NAACP, he offers insights into the forces that have shaped the nation.
Meacham contends that an honest examination of the unvarnished history of the United States is essential for every American. By understanding the past, we gain the ability to navigate away from previous pitfalls and propel the country forward purposefully. His observations and perspectives on the expansive sweep of American history instill hope we exercise “our better angels”.
The documentary, which spans over three hours, is advocated as essential viewing for every American. Meacham’s comprehensive exploration serves as a call for citizens to invest the time and effort to absorb the genuine, unfiltered history of the country, fostering a collective understanding that can guide the nation towards a more enlightened and inclusive future.