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Greenlit: The Men Who Built America, History

The Men Who Built America (8 x 60′) – Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford:  their names are synonymous with innovation, big business and the American Dream. They built empires. They created incredible advances in technology. They changed the world.

This documentary series chronicles how these five self-made men shaped the future of this country, transforming the U.S. into a global superpower in a span of just 50 years, and how they affected the lives of every person in the world. Vanderbilt was one of the first to see how railroads could change how goods are shipped, creating the model for our modern railroads. Carnegie created the process for mass-producing steel, which allowed large buildings to become a reality. Rockefeller discovered a way to refine oil that set the worldwide standard. Morgan created the modern financial system. Ford made the car accessible to the masses.

These men were not born of great privilege. They came from meager means. Yet they saw opportunities where no one else had and they turned their dreams into reality. In so doing, they created the very concept of the American Dream, an idea now deeply woven into the fabric of our country – the notion that hard work, dedication and ingenuity can make your life better.

This is the story of colossal American growth, during the chapter of our history following the Civil War and leading up to World War I, told from the point of view of these five charismatic individuals. Most people today still know their names, but they know little about their lives. Meanwhile, an assortment of other iconic Americans – from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison to Nikola Tesla, even Mark Twain – play supporting and at times unlikely roles in this grand story.

Contributing insights and perspective in exclusive interviews include such contemporary business giants as Steve Case, Mark Cuban, Donny Deutsch, Carly Fiorina, Alan Greenspan, Dick Parsons, Ron Perelman, T. Boone Pickens, Charles Schwab, Jack Welch and Steve Wozniak.

Channel: History

Producer: Stephen David Entertainment

TX: 16th October 2012

Source: History press release (via TV by the Numbers)

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