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The Untold History of the United States [Kindle Edition]

Oliver Stone , Peter Kuznick
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'This is not history for history's sake, however – this is the history of our present and future, long beyond cold war, into war on terror, war on drugs' Ed Vulliamy, Guardian

The Untold History of the United States is filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick’s riveting landmark account of the rise and decline of the American empire – the most powerful and dominant nation the world has ever seen. Probing the dark corners of the administrations of 17 presidents, from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama, they dare to ask just how far the US has drifted from its founding democratic ideals.

Beginning with the bloody suppression of the Filipino struggle for independence and spanning the two World Wars, it documents how US administrations have repeatedly intervened in conflicts on foreign soil, taking part in covert operations and wars in Latin American, Asia and the Middle East. At various times it has overthrown elected leaders in favour of right-wing dictators, for both economic and political gain.

Examining America’s atomic history, Stone and Kuznick argue that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were militarily unnecessary and morally indefensible. They show how the United States has repeatedly brandished nuclear threats and come terrifyingly close to war. They expose how US presidents have trampled on the US constitution and international law and lay bare the recent transformation of the United States into a national security state.

Using the latest research and recently declassified records, The Untold History builds a meticulously documented and shocking picture of the American empire, showing how it has determined the course of world events for the interests of the few across the twentieth century and beyond.

Product Description


"By casting a spotlight on the shadier aspects of America's past, as well as the humane alternatives, Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick provide a thought-provoking rebuttal to the nationalist myths that are far too often served up as history. They remind us that, until Americans have the courage to confront reality, they will remain trapped by their illusions."

Book Description

The book to accompany Oliver Stone's landmark 10-part documentary series, The Untold History of the United States

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5718 KB
  • Print Length: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (30 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A4B9A1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I came to this book having watched the 10 hour excellent documentary series of the same title. I wasn't sure what to expect from such a relatively long book, however I found it a rivetting read, difficult to put down with many interesting moments such as at the views expressed, the retelling of many familar events from a new perspective or in greater detail, and some new information that filled in gaps in my knowledge. The book is told in 14 fairly long chapters and a long introduction that is essential to read to understand the view taken and how the narrative is constructed. The narrative is laced with many interesting facts and quotes, noting the sources and the position or job title of those whose views are being given. The narrative is basically chronological in order though it does contextualise some subjects in the light of recent events, in particular the recent financial crisis and so called war on terror. However much of the narrative stays based in each time period and gradually unfolds through each presidency noting in detail much to do with defence and foreign policy of the US government, though not exclusively, and their development down through the years. A structure which runs in parrallel with the documentary series. However the book is far more detailed and goes into greater depth on many of its subjects and is rather more academic than the somewhat breathless emotive and moralising documentary. I recommend the book as essential reading to anyone with a interest in world history from 1900 onwards. Some grounding in history of the period would help and possibly knowledge of more orthodox views as a balance not just to the views but a contextualisation of events. Certainly it would not just add balance but an interesting perspective on just where that orthodoxy comes from. Otherwise this book is definitely worth a read with its agenda setting views and knowledge rewarding informative narrative that can't be ignored.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The indispensable nation 22 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a powerful socio-political history of the most powerful nation that has ever graced the planet. A country that will have us believe...and we would like to believe...that it is the bastion of freedom and democracy. This has been the 'American century' and this book tells us how they achieved this platitude. It is not I might add with any sort of diplomatic grace, humility or democratic panache. This book will outline to you how they got it so wrong?

The authors present a well referenced, researched and informed viewpoint that is hard to ignore. The evidence is overwhelming, the western world, with few exceptions, has been run by what can only be termed as a cacophony of self seeking, arrogant, racist, sub intellectuals for the last hundred years. That Regan used to fall asleep during his morning briefings just about sums up the quality! Those who have occupied that most esteemed of political offices over the last hundred years have left a US democratic legacy that is battered and bleeding, maybe mortally so. A legacy that has seen the ruin of their international reputation and that is also catapulting them into a financial meltdown. It is a story pitted with political, financial and military disasters on such a grand scale that it beggars belief.

I will say however that the fact that they also did a lot of good is hardly highlighted at all in the book. In any case, the good is totally overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of bad. They made decisions that left millions dead, destroyed entire countries and nullified what should be basic world commodities, that of a reasonable amount of world peace and stability without the threat or risk of an armageddon. The lies, deceit and sheer arrogance practiced by most of these historic figures (and administrations) belies belief.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for truth seekers everywhere 20 Jun. 2013
By nikita
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My name is Nikita. I was born in South America in a country called Guyana. My father was a leftist having raised himself out of poverty by exceling in his studies. I grew up with Indians and Blacks with names like Dimitri, Vladimir and Mikhail. The country I was raised in was ruled by a right wing dictator and was propped up by the Carter government. My family fled the country with nothing after my father was beaten up and my family threatened.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because this book tells the story of the injustices committed against my people and the peoples of the world.
It is not an anti American book it is a critical evaluation of the last 100 years of US hegemony. It has laid bare the truth that the government exists only to serve the needs and imperialistic ambitions of the right wingers, corporations and the military industrial complex.
Americans should definitely read this book and be angry...very angry as it is only you..the voting peoples of the American republic that can change the course of the United States of America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an eye-opening and at times depressing book. I consider myself reasonably well informed and politically aware but I knew virtually nothing of most of the events chronicled in this book. I had, sorry to say, swallowed the narrative of the USA as staunch defender of freedom and democracy. Not perfect - everyone makes mistakes - but fundamentally on the right side. This book exposes just how far from the truth that is. The history of America in the 20th century, with a few notable exceptions, is one of ruthless defence of the interests of the American elite (not the American people) and an anti-socialist paranoia that border on the insane. Overthrowing democratically elected governments at the behest of a fruit company is just one example.

The book is not perfect - the authors are much too indulgent of Stalin and other communist regimes - but the cold setting out of actions taken by the US government is a much needed antidote to the usual cheerleading. After 9/11, Americans asked why so many people in the world seemed to hate them. Being raised on the notion of America as a beacon of liberty, it's understandable that they were perplexed and concluded that the world must hate their "freedom". This book provides some of the true answer. You can't go around the world toppling governments and installing fascist puppets that go on to murder hundreds of thousands without generating a lot of hatred. And so many of those earlier acts - notably Iraq and Iran - have since come home to roost.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars series gives a great insight into some of the very questionable U
Very Informative and enjoyable book to read. I tried William Blaum's Killing hope which is a fantastically well researched book on similar subject matter but to be honest I was... Read more
Published 7 days ago by james goodson
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential!
Don't buy from Amazon!
Published 11 days ago by Adam Stacey
4.0 out of 5 stars It shows that the land of the free was not ...
It shows that the land of the free was not always free i.e. those who protested against USA joining her allies in the First World War. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Redneck free zone
Watched the documentary series, which was fantastic, as is this book, quite bloody shameful stuff from the land of the free, not one for the rednecks though.
Published 1 month ago by Michael Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars everyone should read how this great country has been led astray and...
everyone should read how this great country has been led astray and helped destabilise the world, the US is now full of hypocrisy and double standards,read this and learn some... Read more
Published 1 month ago by hautetension
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought on behalf of someone else
Published 2 months ago by White Witch
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish everyone in the world could read this book ...
I wish everyone in the world could read this book or if they don't have time, to watch it on DVD.
Published 2 months ago by A. N. Saleem
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary read to understand American history better.
This is one of the best history books I have ever read, very informative and full of detailed references to back it up. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Runar G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My dad likes it
Published 2 months ago by svdsniper
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss It!
I bought this book when it came out, being a fan of Stone’s. Platoon and Salvador are two of my favourite movies, and I liked one or two of his others as well. Read more
Published 3 months ago by conjunction
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