About the Show
It was often just a great man on a horse - Europe celebrated centuries of history by building monuments that were rarely imaginative, and never democratic. But in America, builders came up with creative, populist approaches to commemorating the past. In this episode we’ll explore the stories behind ten wholly-original American monuments, and the historical moments that inspired them. We’ll visit little-known locations like the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial, a sculptural masterpiece dedicated to one of the
first African-American units to serve in the Civil War; and we’ll explore the surprising stories behind American favourites like the Statue of Liberty, which was devised as a propaganda piece by French republican politicians. It’s an episode full of epic battles over how to remember America's past: from Maya Lin’s fight to design the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, to the ongoing controversies over confederate monuments across the South. We’ll discover pivotal moments in the evolution of American monuments when daring artists found new ways to honour our history.