Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

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posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 07:49 AM
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Is anyone watching this documentary by Oliver Stone? I've just finished the first few episodes and it strikes me as something in which ATS members would be very interested.

Oliver Stones Untold History of the United States

IMDB

The show is a look behind the scenes at the politics and maneuverings of WWII, and the aftermath of that war into what would result in the Cold War. It takes a look at Korea, and the McCarthy Era, JFK, and so on. I haven't got that far yet. It has garnered mixed reviews: mostly positive but some negative from the right wingers who view Oliver Stone as a leftist.


This is the common fault line running through Stone’s 10-part revisionist history that debuts Sunday night: the presentation of his own perspective as objective reality and the ruthless suppression of any fact that contradicts or undermines his view — that the world over the past 75 years is a much worse place for the American role in it.

Unlike JFK, in which Stone portrayed Earl Warren, one of the great champions of civil liberties in the history of the Supreme Court, as a homicidal traitor who helped assassinate President Kennedy, Untold History contains no real factual whoppers, at least in the first three hours that I saw. But it is relentless and ultimately meretricious in skewing history to its conceit that the United States is a murderous war machine destroying everything in its path to empire. Source

As far as I can tell everything that Stone presents is factual. For example, the attitude of most high ranking people that Japan was going to surrender without having to use the Bomb. Then Truman used it anyway to send a message to Stalin not to take liberties in Eastern Europe. Stone does tend to show America in a worse light than what is taught in schools, that America was always morally right in the war. However, that doesn't mean that it is untrue.

If anyone else is watching this, what do you think? Agree or disagree with Oliver Stone's views?

The show is on Showtime, and I think you will be able to find all the episodes on Youtube. Here is the first:


edit on 10-1-2013 by TheComte because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 07:55 AM
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Am going to forward this thread to a friend of mine, an OS fanatic if you will.

Will check that video out in a minute, right after my song (Jump by Paul Anka if you must know, lol).



Thank you for posting.

edit on 10-1-2013 by ADVISOR because: I added a link...



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:28 AM
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I've seen the entire series thus far. Stone presents an interesting narrative of the events of the times. Having personally lived history since the second Eisenhower administration, I am generally impressed with the accuracy of the show. Patriotic drivel, America Love it or Leave it, The Greatest Country - none of this is presented in his portrayal of our history - and it is the belief in such fairy tales that puts this work into the category of revisionist history in many people's so-called minds.

ganjoa



posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


I'm about 2/3s of the way through the first episode, but I fell asleep..


It all seems very accurate to me.. I'm not old enough to know that, but it fits with what both of my grandfathers talked about so far..

In addition to the seeming accuracy there doesn't seem to be any added fluffy fluff.. I may have to take this back later, but Oliver doesn't seem too keen on war.. Why would anybody be keen on war?? Yea, so far so good..

My next point is that this is very entertaining stuff, and has new info I havn't heard yet, that I'll have to look up..
It's Very well made.
It's kind of like a better version of what history channel USED to be like..

Thanks Op..

edit on 1/10/2013 by Dustytoad because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 12:44 AM
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Oliver Stone is really giving it to the Radical Right Wing in this documentary. After some crisp jabs to the head in the first few episodes, in eps 5-7 he lands some haymakers. And having just finished watching Episode 9, I can say that the Radical Right is set up nicely for the knockout blow. An impressive performance. Out of five, I give it:


Seriously though, the show is a pretty damning portrayal of the USA, and Republican/right wing policies and presidents. But in his defense, Stone doesn't say many good things about Democratic presidents either.

Stone succeeds at shedding new light on historical events in a way that is interesting, even if it might be a bit too jam packed with information. I had to rewind the tape a couple times because I didn't catch something. But I'd rather be inundated with relevant information instead of bored out of my mind. For a conspiratorial mind who has seen every WWII/20th Century/history/ documentary ever made, I found the show fresh, well made, and it didn't hurt that I agreed with Stone's conclusions.

edit on 11-1-2013 by TheComte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


Yup. quite a bit of data packed in there.

Hence my slow return for a reply.

I'm going to say, it is better to have as many perspectives or sides of some thing as possible. Objectively it is preferred, so taking his side along with that of others, we can conclude a more accurate picture over all.

Sort of like remaking history from ancient texts from scholars and generals, for example Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico or Caesar and the Gallic wars. We can't get a very reliable perspective of that period by just going off of his records, we need to combine them with the rest from that period.

Then we have a more complete unbiased story.




posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 01:03 AM
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It reminds me of the BBC documentary Civilisation in that it's a personal view of history as told through a medium. In Civilisation the medium was art. In Stone's documentary the medium is politics, propaganda films, and newsreels



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 05:31 AM
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Watch Ep 3 now. It's about the atomic bomb. Wow. The Japanese were willing to surrender before the bombs were dropped, they just wanted to keep their king who was 'like Jesus to the Shinto (Japanese religion)' . So much stuff in there I didn't know



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 07:56 AM
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This seems to match with a documentary Watched on the bbc a few weeks ago. It seemed at the time Britain was more concerned about protecting its colonial territories than asking on the Nazis head on. It was important that we kept the oil supplies running, but maybe we should have been more willing to take on the western front. Seems we were quite happy to let the nazis and commies kill off enough of each other.

www.bbc.co.uk...

Historian David Reynolds reassesses Winston Churchill's conviction that the Mediterranean was the 'soft underbelly' of Hitler's Europe. Travelling to Egypt and Italian battlefields like Cassino, scene of some of the worst carnage in western Europe, he shows how, in reality, the 'soft underbelly' became a dark and dangerous obsession for Churchill.




posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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I'm watching it. I'm about halfway through and it's really fascinating. I didn't know much about Eisenhower before watching this other than the military industrial complex speech he gave when he left office, which mistakenly made me believe he was one of the good guys. Until I watched this and realized his administration set UP the military industrial complex.

What I'm most struck by in watching this series is it feels like I live on a different planet and belong to a different species. What kind of ignorant moron would think brinkmanship was a good idea?

Also, when you're growing up in America and going through the public school system they run with the narrative that America is the shining beacon of freedom and the defender of liberty and champion of the oppressed. When in actuality America was about enforcing their chosen economic system at the barrell of a gun, and promoting a campaign to dehumanize those who disagreed Or threatening other countries with nuclear annihilation if they didn't toe the line.

We truly haven't been the America we're taught about in schools since before World War I.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Malynn
 


Yes, this show will really open a lot of peoples' eyes.

On the other hand, I expected more right wingers to come in here and denounce Stone and his ideas.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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I always get a kick out of my fellow Americans who think we do not have propaganda...

History has always been told by the Victors so is it any wonder that the Western and United States history is slanted this way?

It might be shocking to those who still believe the Government doesn't lie (as long as you follow the right party) or that it is a two party system instead of two with one agenda.

I am interested in seeing what Stone says but remember he has his own agenda an isn't an average Joe, maybe not an elitist but surely a tool they wield...

Somewhere between maybe the Truth.
edit on 11-1-2013 by abeverage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by abeverage
I am interested in seeing what Stone says but remember he has his own agenda an isn't an average Joe, maybe not an elitist but surely a tool they wield...

Somewhere between maybe the Truth.


I hope you will watch it and then come back here and share your opinions. I agree that the truth is likely in between the two extremes.



posted on Jan, 11 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by TheComte
 


Yeah I was surprised reading your thread that they weren't in here. Maybe they're not watching it because it was made by Oliver Stone


And to those who may think this series is some kind of broader version of JFK, it's not. JFK (my favorite movie of all time by the way) painted a very favorable picture of John Kennedy. While I'm a fan of his I'm a big enough person to admit he did some pretty terrible things, and Stone readily admits that in this series.

I just finished the episode JFK to the Brink. Onto the next one!

ETA: I had never heard of Henry Wallace before this series. I weep for the country we may have had if he had been elected president. That was a great man.
edit on 1/11/13 by Malynn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by Malynn
 


Thought it was kinda crazy how Wallace got pushed to the side during the election of 1940...or whatever it was that was Roosevelt's last. Kinda shows how money and "special interest groups" got Truman into the VP spot with such low approval. And how he basically bent over backwards to the individuals who got him into the VP spot. Completely different direction this country would have taken had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt.

I really do like the series, even though I'm usually pretty pissed off by the end of each episode. I kinda had an idea how "persuasive" this country's leadership can be when it comes to influencing other country's political direction, but definitely didn't think we (as in American leadership) had such a heavy role in dismantling elected governments just to place a puppet leader in place to basically destroy any semblance of a civilized country.

It really is just disheartening how puny we as citizens of this country really are. There could have been no cold war, no vietnam, no korean war, no Iranian conflicts, no no no.... It just goes to show that an uniformed populace can let so many bad things happen to the government that is supposed to be subservient to its populace.

Anyways. I've told most of my friends about it, but am pretty sure most won't watch, due to seeing who is gonna replace Britney Spears on X-Factor. Thanks for the thread. Kudos to Oliver for putting stuff out there, that although may be a bit biased, it is another side to the story of our recent history.



posted on Jan, 12 2013 @ 05:06 AM
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Originally posted by saabster5
reply to post by Malynn
 


Thought it was kinda crazy how Wallace got pushed to the side during the election of 1940...or whatever it was that was Roosevelt's last. Kinda shows how money and "special interest groups" got Truman into the VP spot with such low approval. And how he basically bent over backwards to the individuals who got him into the VP spot. Completely different direction this country would have taken had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt.

I agree. In a later episode Stone draws parallels between this election and the one in which Bush stole the election from Gore.


I really do like the series, even though I'm usually pretty pissed off by the end of each episode. I kinda had an idea how "persuasive" this country's leadership can be when it comes to influencing other country's political direction, but definitely didn't think we (as in American leadership) had such a heavy role in dismantling elected governments just to place a puppet leader in place to basically destroy any semblance of a civilized country.

It really is just disheartening how puny we as citizens of this country really are. There could have been no cold war, no vietnam, no korean war, no Iranian conflicts, no no no.... It just goes to show that an uniformed populace can let so many bad things happen to the government that is supposed to be subservient to its populace.

Knowledge is power. When you are taught since childhood how great America was and is, and that they always use their power for good, it is hard to break that mentality even when confronted with the truth. Maybe when and if the majority of the population realize how they are being manipulated by then change will happen.


Anyways. I've told most of my friends about it, but am pretty sure most won't watch, due to seeing who is gonna replace Britney Spears on X-Factor. Thanks for the thread. Kudos to Oliver for putting stuff out there, that although may be a bit biased, it is another side to the story of our recent history.

Thanks for your comments.



posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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I have enjoyed every episode of the Untold History of the United States; I am thrilled that Showtime has given the series a strong push via a good time slot, many repeat airings and having all episodes available on-demand.

The material that Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick have included in both the book and the show has enlightened me to countless facts and provided context to allow a viewer like myself, who was not born before the Reagan administration, to examine & gain understanding of the events of the 20th Century from a viewpoint that is not the American-centric one learned in high school and college.

I've recommended the series to countless friends and forced several others to sit with me and watch a full episode. FYI the first 30 minutes of episode 1 are very slow and not the best to showcase to friends-- I had a couple friends tap-out because they couldn't get through the first half of episode 1. I've both enjoyed and learned new things in every episode that I've viewed more than once.



posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by NickDC202
 


Yes, you are right. You do need to have a curious/intellectual mind and interest in the topic to take it all in. The information comes rapid fire and you really need to pay attention to follow the flow. There are no breaks or lulls in the action. It seems though at the end of every episode I'm sitting there speechless, not believing that it is all really true.



posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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Originally posted by TheComte
reply to post by NickDC202
 

Yes, you are right. You do need to have a curious/intellectual mind and interest in the topic to take it all in. The information comes rapid fire and you really need to pay attention to follow the flow. There are no breaks or lulls in the action. It seems though at the end of every episode I'm sitting there speechless, not believing that it is all really true.


You said "at the end of every episode I'm sitting there speechless, not believing that it is all really true" and I share that experience too. Often when facts are presented in an episode (facts that when you initially hear you think "there is no way that is true") I will note such things and at some point that week I will research the item and do my own fact check. I am really impressed because the information I've checked has always been accurate and presented in the right context.



posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 03:44 AM
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reply to post by NickDC202
 


I do the same thing, Nick. Always check the facts. I have my browser open and check things as I'm watching it. Names, dates, things like that.





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