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The Untold History of the United States Hardcover – October 30, 2012
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A companion to Oliver Stone's ten-part documentary series, "The Untold History of The United States" unearths the truth behind historical events, using recently discovered archives and newly declassified material.When they refer to "untold history," Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick mean history that should have been but hasn't previously been readily available to the vast majority of citizens in the United States and elsewhere. Now they reveal the latest archival findings that challenge prevailing orthodoxies and asks questions not normally raised. By discerning patterns that have previously gone unrecognized and examining the most recently released declassified documents, a new picture begins to form. This is not the kind of history taught in schools or normally presented on television or in popular movies.
Complete with poignant photos, arresting illustrations, and little-known documents, this book covers the rise of the American Empire and national security state from the late nineteenth century through the Obama administration, showing how deeply rooted in the nation's past the seemingly aberrant policies of the Bush-Cheney administration are and why it has proven so difficult for Obama to significantly change course. By analyzing and drawing conclusions about the past, the authors have discovered patterns and connections that will challenge and excite experts and history lovers.
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I gave this book 5 stars because of the story it tells about the interplay of American attitudes and actions around the world during the past century. And again, since the book focuses on poor or misguided decisions and the consequent actions, it doesn't paint a flattering picture. However, I believe that there is value in looking at this because it helps provide some insight into the state of the world today and the lens through which many other nations may view the US.
I can't begin to imagine how much research was done to put this together. It took me months to finish this book because I was highlighting passages and checking references the entire time that I read the book. It seems like every page contained some of the craziest stories that I have ever heard in my life!
What kind of heart does it take to make some of the cold blooded, ruthless and downright evil decisions that are detailed in this book? I don't think I have that kind of venom pumping in my veins and arteries.
Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick - THANK YOU. I feel like I owe you move money for this (despite the fact that I paid for the paperback and the DVD)! Reading it has been an unforgettable experience and I will be reading this and watching the film again.
There were a number of times when I felt certain issues were dealt with too briefly - the Balfour Declaration being one - but given the scope of the book this brevity is understandable, and for those who might want a more thorough exegesis than a few sentences on something like Balfour whole books have been written. Guess my point is history, even very recent history, is comprised of many elements lurking in the shadows and a fuller understanding of events can only be achieved by looking at those the political class would rather have swept under the rug - permanently.
This book is probably a must-read for those of us concerned with the fact this country spends nearly half the planet's military budget and has less-than-nothing to show for it, a stupendous misallocaton of resources (at least in my book) that's gone on for now over half a century. Defenders of this policy would site "national security." Stone pretty well destroys this argument; Pogo was right. How we got stuck in this Tar Baby is a fascinating, if depressing, story that begins with the Truman administration, and continued to march on down the decades through various presidencies until here we are. If you have read David McCullough's "Truman" a rather positive image was revealed; not in this book. Many sides to any story and this one is definitely worth reading to better understand how we got from there to here.