The Untold History of the United States

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A companion to Oliver Stone’s ten-part Showtime documentary series in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, this cutting-edge and provocative book challenges the status quo of American history.

Multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone (once called “Dostoevsky behind a camera”) has directed such iconic movies as Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Natural Born Killers, and W and is known for his often controversial point of view and probing exploration of weighty historical and political topics. Now, Stone collaborates with esteemed American University professor Peter Kuznick to present our country’s “secret history,” one that has been unearthed through recently discovered archives and newly declassified material.

Filled with poignant photos and little-known historical facts, this book covers the rise of the American Empire and national security state from the late nineteenth century through the Obama administration, revealing how deeply rooted the seemingly aberrant policies of the Bush-Cheney administration are in the nation’s past—and why it has proven so difficult for President Obama to significantly change course.

By discerning patterns that have previously gone unrecognized and examining the most recently released classified documents, Stone and Kuznick challenge prevailing orthodoxies and ask questions not normally raised. The result is not the kind of history taught in schools or represented on television or in popular movies, and it will come as a surprise to the vast majority of American and global citizens, shocking and astounding both experts and history-lovers alike.
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About the author

Oliver Stone made such iconic films as Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Salvador, and W.

Peter Kuznick is professor of history and director of the award-winning Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and is currently serving his fourth term as distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. He has written extensively about science and politics, nuclear history, and Cold War culture.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 30, 2012
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Pages
784
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ISBN
9781451616446
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Social History
History / United States / 20th Century
History / United States / General
Political Science / Imperialism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A companion to Oliver Stone’s ten-part documentary series of the same name, this guide offers a people’s history of the American Empire: “a critical overview of US foreign policy…indispensable” (former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev); “brilliant, a masterpiece!” (Daniel Ellsberg); “Oliver Stone’s new book is as riveting, eye-opening, and thought-provoking as any history book you will ever read. It achieves what history, at its best, ought to do: presents a mountain of previously unknown facts that makes you question and re-examine many of your long-held assumptions about the most influential events” (Glenn Greenwald).

In November 2012, Showtime debuted a ten-part documentary series based on Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the United States. The book and documentary looked back at human events that, at the time, went underreported, but also crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history over the twentieth century.

From the atomic bombing of Japan to the Cold War and fall of Communism, this concise version of the larger book is adapted for the general reader. Complete with poignant photos, arresting illustrations, and little-known documents, The Concise Untold History of the United States covers the rise of the American empire and national security state from the late nineteenth century through the Obama administration, putting it all together to show how deeply rooted the seemingly aberrant policies of the Bush-Cheney administration are in the nation’s past and why it has proven so difficult for Obama to change course.

In this concise and indispensible guide, Kuznick and Stone (who Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills has called America’s own “Dostoevsky behind a camera”) challenge prevailing orthodoxies to reveal the dark truth about the rise and fall of American imperialism.
Stone himself serves as guide to this no-holds-barred retrospective—an extremely candid and comprehensive monograph of the renowned and controversial writer, director, and cinematic historian in interview form.

Over the course of five years, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone (Midnight Express, Scarface, Platoon, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Snowden) and New York Times bestselling author Matt Zoller Seitz (The Wes Anderson Collection) discussed, debated, and deconstructed the arc of Stone's outspoken, controversial life and career with extraordinary candor. This book collects those conversations for the first time, including anecdotes about Stone's childhood, Vietnam, his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, and his continual struggle to reinvent himself as an artist. Their dialogue is illustrated by hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and documents from Stone's personal archive, dating back to Stone's birth: personal snapshots, private correspondence, annotated script pages and storyboards, behind-the-scenes photography, and production files from all of his films to date—through 2016's Snowden, and including Stone's epic Showtime mini-series Untold HIstory of the United States. Critical commentary from Seitz on each of Stone's films is joined by original essays from filmmaker Ramin Bahrani; writer, editor, and educator Kiese Laymon; writer and actor Jim Beaver; and film critics Walter Chaw, Michael Guarnieri, Kim Morgan, and Alissa Wilkinson. 
At once a complex analysis of a master director’s vision and a painfully honest critical biography in widescreen technicolor, The Oliver Stone Experience is as daring, intense, and provocative as Stone’s films—it's an Oliver Stone movie about Oliver Stone, in the form of a book.

Both this book and Stone’s highly anticipated film, Snowden, will be released in September 2016 to coincide with Stone’s seventieth birthday (September 15, 1946).

Also available from Matt Zoller Seitz: Mad Men Carousel, The Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Wes Anderson Collection.
In working together on two challenging new documentaries—South of the Border and the forthcoming thirteen-part, thirteen-hour Forgotten History of the United States series for Showtime—filmmaker Oliver Stone engaged with author and filmmaker Tariq Ali in a probing, hard-hitting conversation on the politics of history.

Their dialogue brings to light a number of forgotten—or deliberately buried—episodes of American history, from the US intervention against the Russian Revolution to the dynamic radicalism of the Wobblies; how Henry Wallace's nomination for the vice presidency was deliberately thwarted by Democratic Party machine insiders, to the ongoing close connections between various US presidents and the Saudi royal family.

For Stone and Ali—two of our most insightful observers on history and popular culture—no topic is sacred, no orthodoxy goes unchallenged.

Tariq Ali is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London.

Oliver Stone has directed, among other films, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, W., World Trade Center, Any Given Sunday, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, Heaven and Earth, JFK, The Doors, Born on The Fourth of July, Talk Radio, Wall Street, Platoon, Salvador, and the documentaries Looking for Fidel, Comandante, Persona Non Grata, South of the Border, and the upcoming Forgotten History of the United States series for Showtime.

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