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BORN FIGHTING: HOW THE SCOTS-IRISH SHAPED AMERICA

UNITED STATES SENATOR JIM WEBB PRESENTS
TWO-HOUR SPECIAL PREMIERING
SUNDAY, APRIL 10 AT 8 PM ET/PT
ON SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL

Senator Webb Traces Roots of The Scots-Irish and How They Helped Forge The American Character

New York, NY – February 24, 2011 – United States Senator Jim Webb of Virginia goes on a personal journey to trace the remarkable story of a cultural group that has had an enormous impact in America in BORN FIGHTING: HOW THE SCOTS-IRISH SHAPED AMERICA, a two-hour special premiering during Tartan Week, Sunday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. The Scots-Irish brought with them a centuries-old warrior tradition, strong religious beliefs, and the spirit of what became American frontier democracy as they blazed a trail across three lands – Scotland, Ireland and America. Senator Webb travels to the lands of his ancestors to tell the forgotten story of how ragtag tides of Celtic immigrants ended up contributing so much to our culture and history.

America is without question the world's melting pot, home to people from hundreds of countries from all corners of the earth. There is one group, however, that has played an influential part in shaping the country, yet has largely disappeared from the national narrative. Until now. The Scot-Irish played a critical role in winning the American Revolution and in all the wars that followed. They gave us the basis of populist-style democracy, the fundamentalism of the Bible Belt, and the “play hard” combination of whiskey and country music. They spawned some of our greatest literary figures, such as Mark Twain, military heroes such as Ulysses S. Grant and George Patton, and some of our most important leaders, including Andrew Jackson and a dozen other U.S. Presidents.

As Senator Webb wrote in his best-selling book Born Fighting: “This is the story of the core culture around which Red State America has gathered and thrived. Its tendency toward egalitarian traditions, mistrust of central authority, frequent combativeness, and an odd indifference to wealth make the Scots-Irish a uniquely values-based culture.”

In the special, Senator Webb follows their battle-scarred trail from poverty-stricken Scotland to the Ulster Plantation in Northern Ireland, then to the mountains of Appalachia and beyond. Their pioneering spirit left a permanent imprint on the nation they helped forge. In many ways the Scots-Irish character became the American character, and their values and attitudes ring loudly in what we now call the American way of life.

BORN FIGHTING: HOW THE SCOTS-IRISH SHAPED AMERICA is produced by STV Productions and Smithsonian Channel in association with UTV. David Royle and Charles Poe serve as executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.

ABOUT SMITHSONIAN NETWORKS

Smithsonian Networks (SNI/SI Networks L.L.C.) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, formed to create channels featuring programs largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.

Contacts:

Josh Gross
347-432-8300
jgross@seldingrosspr.com

Chloe Comins
617-505-5304
chloe.comins@showtime.net

 

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