There Are Worlds, and There Are Worlds

A brief on AMC's new series:

AMC has officially given a 10-episode series order to Hell On Wheels, the post-Civil War drama (which we previously told you about) set during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and those uncertain years immediately following emancipation. But aside from providing a big, steam-powered metaphor for America building its own railway to the future out of blood, sweat, and racially-charged tears, Hell On Wheels is at its heart a vengeance story about an ex-Confederate rebel hunting the Union soldiers who killed his wife, as well as a gritty Western that takes place in the lawless, eponymous traveling camp of the title.

I will probably--probably--skip this series.  Perhaps I haven't seen the story of "an ex-Confederate rebel hunting the Union soldiers who killed his wife." But somehow, I think I have. What I have not seen is Willy Parker at Christiana, Moses along the railroad, the awesome Ellen Craft, or the ballad of Robert Charles

These are our stories, our magic. And surely it must said that the ultimate responsibility for preserving that magic falls to us. I don't so much begrudge people for honoring their own particular magic, so much as I recognize it is of their world, and I do not have to live in it. We must seek out our own.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In