This is the first of three audio volumes taken from the 90-part Radio 4 series.
It tells the story of America through the voices of those who were there, from presidents to slaves. It celebrates the American achievement and evokes the sound and colour of daily life; it also explores the paradoxes of American history. through three themes - empire, liberty and faith - that together this vivid saga.
PART ONE - from the beginnings to the start of the Civil War in 1861 The series is written and presented by David Reynolds - a prize-winning Cambridge historian whose previous work for the BBC includes the 2008 TV series Summits. Download and start listening now!