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Closed-captioned for the hearing impaired "Ken Burns presents The West, a film by Stephen Ives"--Container Executive producer, Ken Burns; producers, Stephen Ives, Jody Abramson, Michael Kantor; writers, Geoffrey C. Ward, Dayton Duncan; photography, Buddy Squires, Allen Moore; editor, Richard Hankin; supervising editor, Paul Barnes; narrator, Peter Coyote; music, Matthias Gohl; consultant, Geoffrey C. Ward. Originally produced as a TV series by WETA-TV, Washington, D.C. VHS Historical TV documentary series.

As the 20th century neared, Americans celebrated with the World Columbian Exposition, where they were told that the frontier had closed, but in the real West, for every frontier story that ended, another one began. Some Native Americans waged a struggle to hold onto their traditions in the midst of rapid, overwhelming change, while others chose to learn the white man's ways, hoping to help their families and their tribe. In California, the emerging metropolis of Los Angeles waged yet another battle to control the arid region's most precious commodity--water. Much had changed in the West, but it continued to be what it had always been--a landscape of the imagination, the reservoir of our shared hopes and dreams, a place of both conflict and infinite possibility, and an enduring symbol of something unquestionably American.