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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 January 2014
I'm listening to the audio version. Fantastic. It is a great 'read' but I meant fantastic in the sense that I can hardly believe the levels of incompetence, corruption and downright lieing to the public by US leaders that this book reveals. Quite extraordinary how close we have come to global destruction it seems. The money spent, the futility, the millions of deaths - all heart breaking.
Where could we all be if the US had been led by wiser, more honest and more peaceable folk you find yourself asking.
The introduction does make the point that the authors are not attempting to provide BBC style 'balance' in their analysis. And they certainly don't! (I do wonder what the reviews in the US were for this book?)
I would love to read a UK version. I suspect much the same story but with different players would be told.
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on 15 March 2013
JS Mill argued that the importantce of conflicting narratives (doctrines) is that whilst neiter contain the full truth, they share the truth between them. What is interesting about this book is that it calls attention to a range of facts that sit uneasily- and occasionally not at all- with some of the organising myths of twentieth century American history; torch bearers of democracy, defenders of individual rights. The book's purpose seems not to reject the aspiration behind those national myths, but to invite a discussion about how past mistakes might be avoided in the future.
Mill would certainly have embraced the intellectual challenge offered by this book.
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on 7 September 2013
For me this filled in some large gaps in my history knowledge. Even discounting for the well known leftist leanings of the author, this is a revealing, detailed account of the what and why of US history. It might have been titled the road not taken; choices in WWII, choices post Kennedy, choices the old Gipper Reagan made, choices Obama did not make. Essential reading
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on 20 March 2015
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 finding it a bit of a slog and tried this instead which I flew through. I'll go back to kiling hope a bit at a time I think.

This along with the T.V. series gives a great insight into some of the very questionable U.S. actions over the years. Probably because of sheer laziness I think I had fallen victim to the myths perpetuated about the U.S.A.

Put simply I always assumed The U.S. were 'the good guys' in world affairs. After reading this book I am much more skeptical about the motivation behind U.S. actions on the world stage.
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on 5 August 2013
Issues of so called 'National Security' are invariably used by politicians as an excuse for international dirty dealings by subversive influences such as the CIA - and doubtless their equivalents in other states (MI6, Mossad, KGB et al.).
The illegal and reprehensible actions of the CIA in particular, together with the full collusion of the US Presidents, over the past 80 years is brilliantly documented by Oliver Stone and to read this history in one volume covering US international skullduggery since 1910 (approx.) gives a sobering reminder -- if one were needed -- of the bullying and immoral actions of the US (under the guise of fighting for Democracy??!!!). What a despicable example of mankind.
There is hardly a country in the world where the US has not interfered and bullied -- financially and/or militarily.
The book provides a sympathetic perspective on the USSR position over the years since the Second World War which has rarely been shown in the Western press and which certainly makes me think back to the 50s and 60s when the Russians were invariably portrayed as bogeymen. Perhaps they had every right to be afraid of the US agenda when one reads Stone's records of the paranoia so prevalent within the US military policy and decision hierarchy.
What a pity that this sort of information isn't provided to our teenagers when their political minds should be open and receptive to genuine history and not the doctored politically correct angles which are promoted more and more by our so-called Democratic Governments.
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on 4 January 2014
Untold History of America

This historical narrative challenges the common perception in Britain and the United States as to who won the war and who were the villains of the post-war settlement. One's impression is that if Franklin Roosevelt had not died in 1945 there would have been no Cold War. Similarly, if John F. Kennedy had lived then the so-called Cold War would have ceased in his second term.

Stone and Kuznick have made a constructive contribution to the foreign policy debate, but they have also, hopefully, written a text with a wide popular appeal on both sides of the Atlantic. Whilst the narrative dispels many common myths, it serves as a warning to those who would be complacent and not question, analyse, evaluate or concern themselves with what is being done in their name. It also demonstrates that history and its understanding is a pre-requisite for those who pursue a political career anywhere in the world.

Stone and Kuznick shine the light on the failures of the United States foreign policy establishment which in many respects echoed the earlier failures of Great Britain. It is ironic that despite America's opposition to British colonial policy it followed policies after World war II that America's founding fathers had fought against. The principles of the American constitution, the rule of law, and even the Four Freedoms and the Charter the United Nations were subsequently undermined. All this is well illustrated and referenced by Stone and Kuznick.

On the other hand, America has also found itself alone in meeting the burden of global peace, partly through failure of its Allies and the United Nations to bear their share of the burden of peacekeeping, or by its friends and allies giving sensible advice when required.

It is poignant that Oliver Stone contributed to this work. It was his incredible film, JFK, that sparked serious questioning of the earlier findings on the assassination of President Kennedy. Similarly, this work may arouse the American people and their friends on this side of the Atlantic to ensure that in future America and its Allies pursue more constructive foreign policies. In particular, it should arouse in the American people, whose ancestors came from this side of the Atlantic to seek a newer world, those pilgrims' ideals of peace with freedom. After all, that was the American Dream.
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on 15 June 2013
I'm very pleased to see that a lot of people find this book fascinating.
I find it depressing. Too truthful!
As I suspected, the statesmanship of American presidentship had ended with Roosevelt. All the "great American presidents" after him were not too clever people, whose mentality run along the lines of street brawl, rather then being a great statesman...
Bias towards Soviets you say? I thought so too - until I read the book. Bringing in recent international developments I think one should be very careful to side up with "democracy American stile" .
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on 31 January 2015
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 truths. You won't see this on FOX or CNN
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on 8 August 2013
This is a real eye opener as to what actually goes on in the United States. Buy it and read it for yourself. I bought this for my husband after he had watched the programme on TV. He has now also bought the DVD.
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on 8 December 2014
I was given this book by a friend and nearly put it to one side. So glad I didn't not a book to be read in one go more a chapter at a time then sit back and think, discuss and realise how lucky the world has been and if the U.S. is this bad what about Russia, China and the up and coming world powers really scary!!!!!!!
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