The Untold History of The United States by Oliver StoneThe companion to the Showtime documentary series, director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick challenge the prevailing orthodoxies of traditional history books in this thoroughly researched and rigorously analyzed look at the dark side of American history.
The notion of American exceptionalism, dating back to John Winthrop’s 1630 sermon aboard the Arbella, still warps Americans’ understanding of their nation’s role in the world. Most are loathe to admit that the United States has any imperial pretensions. But history tells a different story as filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick reveal in this riveting account of the rise and decline of the American empire.
Aided by the latest archival findings and recently declassified documents and building on the research of the world’s best scholars, Stone and Kuznick construct an often shocking but meticulously documented “People’s History of the American Empire” that offers startling context to the Bush-Cheney policies that put us at war in two Muslim countries and show us why the Obama administration has had such a difficult time cleaving a new path.
Stone and Kuznick will introduce readers to a pantheon of heroes and villains as they show not only how far the United States has drifted from its democratic traditions, but the powerful forces that have struggled to get us back on track.
The authors reveal that:
· The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were militarily unnecessary and morally indefensible.
· The United States, not the Soviet Union, bore the lion’s share of responsibility for perpetuating the Cold War.
· The U.S. love affair with right-wing dictators has gone as far as overthrowing elected leaders, arming and training murderous military officers, and forcing millions of people into poverty.
· U.S.-funded Islamist fundamentalists, who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan, have blown back to threaten the interests of the U.S. and its allies.
· U.S. presidents, especially in wartime, have frequently trampled on the constitution and international law.
· The United States has brandished nuclear threats repeatedly and come terrifyingly close to nuclear war.
American leaders often believe they are unbound by history, yet Stone and Kuznick argue that we must face our troubling history honestly and forthrightly in order to set a new course for the twenty-first century. Their conclusions will challenge even experts, but there is one question only readers can answer: Is it too late for America to change?
Oliver Stone Rewrites History — Again
R eactions to film director Oliver Stone's ambitious attempt to reinterpret America's postwar history tended to divide along strictly ideological lines. The left welcomed it — the Guardian's wave-making correspondent Glenn Greenwald tweeted : "You may not agree with all, but the series is provocative and worthwhile. Stone, in his folksy introduction to the series that was shown on CBS's Showtime channel in the US in autumn and on Sky Atlantic in the UK in spring , says he made it for his children. They were getting as one-sided a view of American history as he got — "We were the centre of the world, there was a manifest destiny, we were the good guys" — and he wanted to correct that. According to Stone, President Roosevelt's anti-imperialistic ideals were corrupted by his successors: from being the hammer of empire under Roosevelt and his vice-president Henry Wallace, the hero and great might-have-been in Stone's tale, the US became the most powerful and malign empire of all, virulently opposed to communism, fighting unjust wars, propping up dictators everywhere.
But often the problem is that people never learn the history to begin with. The problems of America mythologizing its past is a precinct issue in where we are somehow still debating if the Civil War was about slavery hint: it was! The documentary focuses on the dark parts of American and also world history: the wars, political scandals, civil unrest, and missed opportunities. In short, the parts of American history we tend to gloss over in our politicians like to gloss over. But while Stone certainly has a viewpoint, the documentary is outside the scope of partisan politics that consumes American discourse.
They were master sergeants, generals, colonels. They had arrogance beyond belief. The hubris that allowed Henry Kissinger to say North Vietnam is a fourth-rate power we will break. The hubris of that! From where Stone sits, World War II begot the cold war, which landed us in Vietnam, a manifestation of American imperialism, which led inexorably to our current battle in Afghanistan. We have, Stone says, been sold a fairy tale masquerading as history, and it is so blinding it may ultimately undo us. And this is a shock to many people.
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The Untold History of the United States   also known as Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States is a documentary series created, directed, produced, and narrated by Oliver Stone about the reasons behind the Cold War, the decision to drop the atomic bombs, and changes in America's global role since the fall of Communism. Stone, Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham co-wrote the script. Kuznick objected to the working title "Secret History", claiming that "the truth is that many of our 'secrets' have been hidden on the front page of the New York Times. If people think the secrets will be deep, dark conspiracies, they'll be disappointed. We'll be drawing on the best recent scholarship". President Harry Truman 's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, and changes in America's global role since the fall of Communism. The series is a reexamination of some of the underreported and darkest parts of American modern history, using little-known documents and newly uncovered archival material.