Program 1. The awe-inspiring saga of America's greatest authors comes alive in Great American Authors since 1650. As the American colonies moved toward becoming an independent nation, a unique and distinctive voice poured forth from the pens of its authors. Once the nation was founded, America's first literary giants -- Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe -- told stories and wrote poems that could have only come from the heart and soul of this fledgling country. Program 2. Between the War of 1812 and the Mexican American War that ended in 1848, America experienced an exuberant economic period of growth. And, it was during this time that American authors produced the nation's first great wave of classic literature. In this program, such literary giants as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow make their mark on the American psyche.