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The Promise of Progress is a companion historical lecture that accompanies the first volume of the DVD set of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. It appears on Disc 12 of Volume 1. It has a run-time of 41 minutes, 27 seconds.
Completing the educational component of this first volume of Young Indy adventures is a 40-minute lecture hosted by H.W. Brands, noted author and Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. While the various documentaries found on the other discs cover a multitude of subjects, this overview puts all the many topics into a larger context and perspective.
The 20th Century began with great changes as technology accelerated modern society, the world became better connected, and social reforms challenged the status quo. The future looked bright for those who believed that any challenge could be solved by the application of reason and intelligence. This led to progressive initiatives in politics, invention, physics, psychoanalysis, and art. For the young nation of the United States, progress proved double-edged, for while many innovations and ideas improved life, the allure of imperialism led the U.S. to a dark chapter.