Synopsis by Rob Ferrier
Biography of America is a series designed to present American history as a contiguous narrative, not a randomly associated stream of events, people, and places. Each episode is designed to present a facet of American history from a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives. Intended for use in the classroom, this set functions well as a complete telecourse or as a library of information on specific topics within American historical dialogue. The intent of each episode is to show the human side of history and to force students to think critically about the past. Each episode is augmented with archival footage and other materials from the Library of Congress and the National Archives. This particular episode examines the period immediately following the Civil War, known as Reconstruction. Picking up after the battle of Gettysburg, this program attempts to show how the assassination of Lincoln led to the rise of cynicism, a cynicism that would eventually doom the promises of Reconstruction.