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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 11 April 2010

David Willis takes a look at the creative packaging that can make it or break it, in America. He talks to author David Remnick about his new biography, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama." The book illuminates the ways that the 44th American President crafted his image and landed in the spotlight of the political stage.

As British leaders prepare to step into their first televised debates there is much that can be learned from America about what to avoid in order to come out on top while under the bright television lights.

Award-winning film producer Jerry Weintraub talks about how to spot a winner among a sea of possibilities. From "Karate Kid," to "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve," and "Oceans Thirteen," the successful film producer knows what works and what doesn't in this nation of dreamers.

And Americana takes a trip up the northeast coast, to Maine. The last remaining U.S. sardine factory will package its last fish despite efforts to keep the factory running after all these decades.

Email - americana@bbc.co.uk
Twitter - @bbcamericana.

  • Nuclear weapons and global security

    David Willis talks to Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times and columnist for AOL’s Politics Daily about President Barack Obama’s new posturing on nuclear weapons and global security.

    Lynn Sweet's blog
  • The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

    David Remnick discusses how President Barack Obama crafted his image. His new biography is, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama".

    David Remnick
  • Packaging a candidate, The American Presidential Debates

    As the U.K. election season kicks off, David Willis and Lynn Sweet discuss how some mistakes made during historic American Presidential debates can offer a few lessons to hopeful leaders across the pond.

    United States presidential election debates (Wikipedia)
  • The packaging of creative success, Jerry Weintraub

    Jerry Weintraub knows what it takes to make a star in America. He’s managed Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and produced countless blockbuster films, but he’s trying something new.

    He’s written a memoir called, "When I Stop Talking, You’ll know I’m Dead: Useful Stories From a Persuasive Man". Before he does, he tells Americana a bit more about his life and his work.

    Jerry Weintraub (IMDB)
  • What’s in a tin?

    The last remaining Sardine cannery in the United States, located in Maine, is scheduled to end production this month. Several women who have canned sardines there for decades are among the 128 employees losing their jobs. They share their thoughts from the factory floor.

    Produced with help from Anne Mostue and Jay Holt in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

    Stinson Seafood Company


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