Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States

By Jim Carey

This Monday, we will show part two of The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone. It begins in 1943 with Roosevelt and Churchill meeting in Casablanca. Later that year, they meet with Stalin in Tehran. You may be surprised to hear how both TIME and LIFE featured Stalin and Russia. Through Stone`s lens, we view the horror of the war: cities being reduced to rubble and the Normandy invasion with 11,000 planes, 4,000 ships, 100,000 allied troops, 30,000 vehicles, and the death of 3,000 soldiers.

Occupy SMA Meeting and Films
Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States—Part 2
Mon, Jun 6, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
Loreto 15
No charge

Back in the states, we hear about Henry Wallace, vice president during F.D.R.’s third term and a brilliant progressive and unsung hero. During the 1944 Democratic convention, thanks to some conservative power players, Wallace, instead of being renominated for vice president, was at the last moment tossed aside for Harry Truman, a senator of limited experience who was only briefed that the United States was building the atomic bomb after Roosevelt died.

A. Goldman in the New York Times Magazine reports that the historian Peter Kuznick, history professor at the American University in Washington, helped write the Showtime series and, even Stone admits, most of the book. Kuznick was raised in a left-leaning, politically active Jewish family and joined the NAACP at age 12. Stone’s political evolution has been a gradual but radical departure from his upbringing in the Upper East Side household of Louis Stone, a stockbroker and Eisenhower Republican, who instilled in his son an almost paralyzing fear of Russia’s global military and economic ascendancy. “I remember crying, practically, and saying why aren’t we doing anything?” Stone said. He infuriated his father by dropping out of Yale after his first year (George W. Bush was in his freshman class) and later joined the Army and served in the infantry in Vietnam. Stone’s Untold History jams almost 75 years of American history into just 10 hours.

Kuznick said that he and Stone wanted to highlight pivotal moments in history when better decisions could have been made. “We want to give people the ability to think in a utopian fashion again. I asked Stone what would have happened had Wallace, not Truman, become president. ‘There would not have been this cold war,’ he said. ‘There would have been the continuation of the Roosevelt/Stalin working out of things. Vietnam wouldn’t have happened.’”  Join the discussion.

 

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