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American Pie.

Don't be put off by the title--this is not a how-to tape on baking. Instead, it is a salute to the "many flavors and extraordinary diversity of ingredients that go to make up the great American pie"--in short, a tribute to our nation. Originally part of the "Smithsonian World" series on Public Broadcasting, this video is a compilation of four very diverse stories, oddly cobbled together in hopes of forming one grand mosaic. While each is interesting to various degrees, they remain disparate entries, leaving viewers groping for a handle.

By far the most interesting is the finale, an examination of George Washington through paintings, sculpture, and monuments celebrating our nation's first president. Conducted by host David McCullough and journalist/author Garry Wills, it depicts how the man and the myth have become intertwined through the years, with the real man by far the more interesting. The three remaining segments of this video--how Fayetteville, N.C., has reclaimed and rebuilt its downtown after decades of being a red-light district for nearby Fort Bragg; a tour of some American churches showing the diversity of their architecture; and a visit to the international Experimental Aircraft Association's Fly-In Convention at Oshkosh, Wis.--leave the impression that these four stories originally were considered for producing entire shows, but were found wanting of sufficient appeal, then were abridged and lumped together. Alas, this American pie is more like a hash.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Society for the Advancement of Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Rothenberg, Robert S.
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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