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The untold history of the United States by…
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The untold history of the United States (original 2012; edition 2013)

by Oliver Stone, Peter J. Kuznick

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249565,830 (3.85)4
Member:AC.Belgrade
Title:The untold history of the United States
Authors:Oliver Stone
Other authors:Peter J. Kuznick
Info:New York : Gallery Books, 2013.
Collections:Your library
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The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone (2012)

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Showing 4 of 4
A must read to unbrainwash yourself ( )
  Daudim | Dec 21, 2016 |
In one word HORRIFYING.

Even if this book is only 50% true it is still horrifying.

How a nation who has set itself up as the keeper of the peace and the saviour of smaller nations can have caused the deaths and hardships to all these people. All the time we were reading the news, but did not know the news behind the news.

The biggest tragedy is the last chapter about Barak Obama who was elected with the hope of the people that the US would cease sending their young men to die in war, but he is powerless against the moneymakers who really run the country.

Read this book and weep... ( )
  lesleynicol | Jul 4, 2014 |
Shows choice of Truman over Wallace as VP in 1944 as a major turning-point in 20th c. hist. ( )
  mspeyer | Nov 29, 2013 |
Wow! The Untold History of the United States will tell you lots and lots and LOTS that you didn't hear in school. And it all shows that the U.S. is not a selfless, noble, exception to the rule that great powers behave badly. The book will make some readers very angry; national myths are dearly held. And it will make some others very skeptical. This is not an unbiased work, and there is a lot of selectivity about what facts are included (and what are not).

This book, however, well worth reading, whether or not you agree with it. Yes, it's biased,but so is most of the U.S. history we read -- only biased the other way. Moving the point of view helps to clarify current U.S. policy issues. For example, do we really need to have a military establishment that is as powerful as all the rest of the military establishments in the world?

The book begins around 1900, as the European powers scrambled for de jure control of Africa and anything else that wasn't nailed down. At that point, the U.S. (perhaps more subtly) was establishing de facto control of much of Latin America and the Caribbean. The most egregious U.S. imperialist, the authors argue, was not TR, but Woodrow Wilson. They put this in the context of U.S. corporate interests, which they also argue played a key role in getting the U.S. into World War I.

The next part of the book looks at the interwar period and at World War II. Mssrs. Stone and Kuznick show the degree to which anti-communism blinkered U.S. policies. They also remind us of how little of World War II -- in Europe -- was fought by the U.S., and of how much was fought by the Soviet Union.

The discussion of the immediate post-war period is the most interesting in the book. The authors present what is to me a convincing case that dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was NOT necessary. The Japanese, they argue, were desperately looking for a way to surrender, because they were terrified of a Russian invasion. Many U.S. generals and politicos argued against the bombs. One is left with the conclusion that the main reason for the bombs was to scare the Soviets.

From there, the authors proceed to the emergence of the cold war, which they regard as largely the fault of the U.S. They understate, I think, the "contribution" of Stalin's Soviet Union, but by encouraging the reader to look at the cold war from a Soviet point of view they provide an informative vantage point. No real story has only one side.

The part of the book which covers our more recent wars -- Vietnam, and then the Middle East -- is less startling, because U.S. miscalculation and cruelties in those wars have been more widely reported than those in earlier periods. Also, it is in the more recent period that the book seems to me most seriously biased; per Mssrs. Stone and Kuznick, no American president since John Kennedy has done anything that was not almost unequivocally evil.

There are faults in this book. It seems to me to overstate the iniquities of the U.S., to understate the bloody-mindedness of our enemies, and to underestimate the fact that politicians have to deal with social and economic realities. The only real heroes in the book are Henry Wallace and Mikhail Gorbachev -- FDR comes off as a sometime waffler, while JFK comes off as someone who experienced a major change in view shortly before being killed. Also, the book does in some instances take comments out of context, and/or leave off important explanatory information. I look forward to reading the upcoming review in The New York Review of Books, which is (internet gossip reports) most unfavorable.

Despite these qualifications, I think that this is a very valuable book -- though I fear that it may not be read much outside liberal circles. ( )
  annbury | Jan 22, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Oliver Stoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kuznick, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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A companion to the ten-part documentary series outlines provocative arguments against official American historical records to reveal the origins of conservatism and the obstacles to progressive change.

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