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DVD Review

DVD cover

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States


Narrated by: Oliver Stone
Distributor: FremantleMedia International
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: E
Release Date: 01 July 2013

From writer/director Oliver Stone and co-written by historian Prof. Peter Kuznick, this 10 part documentary series looks back at events that at the time went under reported but that crucially shaped America's unique and complex history over the 20th Century. Topics range from President Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan to the origins and reasons for the Cold War with the Soviet Union and the fierce struggle between war and peace in America's national security complex...

As Oliver Stone explains in his introduction... when he grew up he was shocked to learn that the history of the United States, as told in schools across the country, left out quite a few things, and whitewashed over some events in order to paint American's in as good a light as possible. His reasoning for making the programme was that he was concerned about how history was being presented at his children's schools - almost in exactly the same way that he himself had been taught.

This DVD is controversial from the start and sets about destroying fond memories that most people have of some of America's most beloved presidents. Stone examines the murky, behind closed doors, decisions that almost every American president has taken while hiding the truth from the general populace.

Exploring questions such as Did Eisenhower betray the US?, What were the real reasons behind World War 1 & 2 and was Reagan one of the worst or best Presidents of all time? It looks at America as an unelected world police force, slapping down those that don't agree with it (unless they're interesting in buying arms or selling cheap oil).

There's been some arguments made by some historians that the entire series is communist propaganda and borrows heavily from communist author Carl Marzani's Soviet-published We Can Be Friends. In all fairness there is a little too much back slapping of the Russians throughout the series. All the Russian leaders seem to have praise heaped upon them as moral do-gooders who if America had joined forces with would have provided a better world for all. It's a little strange that a series that pulls down the veil of lies behind the American political system should pull up another veil to hide the selfish and evil acts of the Russians.

However, ignoring that slight quibble, as a series designed to open the eyes of the American public to the corrupt and self-serving ideals of all Presidents since WWII, Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States accomplishes its task impressively.


Darren Rea

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