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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #1

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Untold History of the United States


After the just concluded bitter elections in the US, I have noticed that there is a glut of books on past American presidents which almost seems faddish. Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, Robert Caro, Chris Mathews, Newt Gingrich etc have turned out books featuring a president.

Amid all these, including the obligatory media rounds by authors promoting their books, one has captured my attention. Oliver Stone's and Peter Kuznik's "Untold History of the United States" gives a different take on American history since the end of WW11. It is indeed a controversial book. Has anyone read the book and could they give me an OBJECTIVE and COMPREHENSIVE review?

The reason I am interested in the book is due to the new material that seems to come out. Please note that I want a book review and not a series review (apparently there is a 10 part showtime series) because of the comprehensive nature of books in comparison to TV programs.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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SEEMS like a good book
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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:51 PM   #3

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The book interests me because it gives an alternative angle. As new facts are accessed including lots of classified information, a lot of what we don't know or thought we knew are surfacing. As someone once stated, "History is always written by the winners" with all the accompanying spin. What about the stories of the vanquished and less celebrated? Those would be interesting versions.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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I have seen it but haven't had a chance to read it. It looks good but I would expect it to have a revisionist spin.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #5

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Seems "Showtime" ran a series on this in Nov 2012. Looks like something I wouldn't take if
it was given to me for free.
‘Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States’: Facts through a new lens - The Washington Post
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Old November 27th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #6

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Although I am immediately skeptical of anyone from Hollywood attempting to paint a picture of what they consider to be "factual" and/or "historical" I would like to review it myself if for nothing else, morbid curiosity. Regardless it will be interesting to see how the work fairs with the passage of time, say 15-20 years.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:32 AM   #7

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One problem with the book, Oliver Stone. Known to play fast and loose with historical subjects.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 03:36 AM   #8

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I think that books of this nature can carry a certain amount of truth as to certain events not generally known. Often taken from accounts of "officials" who were on the periphery of events and not deep in the circles involved. "Where there is smoke there is fire" sort of approach. The problem Stone faces with me is that he has a reputation of never quite seeing the flames, but is glad to cough in the smoke.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:48 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by common soldier View Post
Although I am immediately skeptical of anyone from Hollywood attempting to paint a picture of what they consider to be "factual" and/or "historical" I would like to review it myself if for nothing else, morbid curiosity. Regardless it will be interesting to see how the work fairs with the passage of time, say 15-20 years.
I would really like to get your objective review of the book. Maybe as some have stated there might be some elements of truth in what is written. For one, there has always been spin in the conventional stories that come out, from Ramases II to Julius Ceaser to the present day. Thats why an alternative view to what we have always thought is the truth is important.

Last edited by finrod; November 28th, 2012 at 06:05 AM.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #10

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Elementary


Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthera tigris altaica View Post
One problem with the book, Oliver Stone. Known to play fast and loose with historical subjects.

Sir, Well said. Your profound observation underscores my skepticism regarding the work in question.
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