"At last the world knows America as the savior of the world!"
The notion of American exceptionalism, dating back to John Winthrop’s 1630 sermon aboard the Arabella, still warps Americans’ understanding of their nation’s role in the world. Most are loathe to admit that the United States has any imperial pretensions. But history tells a different story as filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick reveal in this riveting account of the rise and decline of the American empire. They trace the American empire through the bloody U.S. suppression of the Filipino struggle for independence; the establishment of U.S. financial hegemony via World War I; the repeated U.S. interventions, covert operations, and wars in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East; the transformation of America into a prying national security state; the accumulation of vast fortunes by the wealthiest Americans; and troubling assaults on U.S. constitutional liberties.
Aided by the latest archival findings and recently declassified documents and building on the research of the world’s best scholars, Stone and Kuznick construct an often shocking but meticulously documented "people's history" of the American empire that offers startling context to the Bush-Cheney policies that put us at war in two Muslim countries and show us why the Obama administration has had such a difficult time cleaving a new path.
Stone and Kuznick will introduce listeners to a pantheon of heroes and villains as they show not only how far the United States has drifted from its democratic traditions but the powerful forces that have struggled to get us back on track. The authors reveal that:
American leaders often believe they are unbound by history, yet Stone and Kuznick argue that we must face our troubling history honestly and forthrightly in order to set a new course for the 21st century. Their conclusions will astonish even experts, but there is one question only listeners can answer: Is it too late for America to change?
©2013 Oliver Stone & Peter Kuznick (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is a very well researched and written book. There is much more history left untaught -- or distorted -- than we hear in school. Our untold history is fascinating.
Best are new facts about some excellent and successful efforts by humane and community-minded government officials, individuals and organizations to develop programs beneficial to the well-being of individuals, business and the country.
Until today, listening for a few hours straight while driving in the countryside, I completely enjoyed hearing this "new" history. Then I realized I was also hearing about loud and brutal intolerance, violent efforts to crush individual workers and unions, corporate efforts to finance a military coup, wars, depressions and ever-growing economic class separation, ongoing for generations. Many gained obscene amounts of wealth while most struggled, and many died, of the business, banking, military, business and corporate manipulations, The juxtaposition of the few ultra-oober-rich to the many "ordinary" made me angry because it is so familiar. There have been repeated cycles of extremes, sadly no different now than then, quickly or slowly crushing any hopes of all but the wealthiest among us. This crushing of hope has been perpetrated by the same reasoning, the same greed, the same plans and the same disregard, by the same long-lived organizations using and used by the same greedy types of individuals for at least three generations behind us, and destined to continue for the generations born after us.
The facts uncovered in the research of this book are extraordinary. They are also quite discouraging. I don't mind if what I learn touches a little righteous anger, and raises my consciousness and willingness to stand up for what I know is right. I hate it when people are deliberately unaware, "I don't want to know," I do want to know, but I don't know if I can continue this book. The obviously recurrent brutal treatment of our citizens -- and the citizens of other countries -- is too disheartening. Usually knowledge is power. This knowledge makes me feel powerless.
Riveting reading. I found it enlightening, and I read a lot of current affairs newspapers and journals. The Untold History of the U.S. "connects the dots" of the last 100 years of American history, logically and factually. Worth reading twice.
The narrator is perfectly matched for this book. An A+ job.
Perry Mason Fan
This is a great companion to the Oliver Stone video series, available on Amazon Streaming video and DVD. Stone did a test narration for the video in order to match the pacing of the video to the narration. He did such a good job that he and his staff decided to keep his voice and not use a professional voice. He should have read the book as well. The professional voice does a good job. He just does not put his heart into it, like Stone does. I hope Stone will re-record the book with his own voice.
I knew bits and pieces of the untold history, but I could not see how it all fit together. This book fills in the blanks, connects the dots, and tells a coherent story of our history.
If FDR had lived, he might have handled Stalin better than Truman. He might have also stood away from Britain and France, because he objected to their colonial policies in Vietnam, India, Africa, Iran, and the Middle East. And their manipulation of America. There might have been no Cold War.
FDR or Wallace might not have provoked the Soviets (as Britain and France played "lets you and him fight"), but might have engage Stalin as Nixon engaged Mao. Not surrender, but an understanding of history and culture and political realities that would have avoided Mutual Assured Destruction aka Nuclear MAD.
We seemed to push all the wrong buttons, as Churchill, Jimmy Byrnes, and others manipulated Truman to do. Only luck kept us from blowing ourselves up a la the new book Command and Control or blowing each other up a la Cuba 1962 or Archer Able 1983.
The book does not get into British intelligence spy operations in the U.S. Before the Second World War, such as efforts to defeat and destroy congressmen who opposed the Brits and British colonialism. How were we persuaded to give the bomb to the Brits and the French? Why did we allow bombs to be located in and controlled by Germany, Britain, and France during the Eisenhower era? The book gets into these latter questions quite well.
> How are Americans persuaded to overlook actions by some of our corrupt leaders that would disgust us if performed by other countries' leaders? Chile, Iran in 1953, Guademala, Indonesia, Brazil, and many more?
Yes, but Oliver Stone's narration would have been better.
At 30 hours, it is too long for one sitting. . And it is meaty. I will listen to it several times, as I do with the best audiobooks.
This book can be contrasted to The Company by Robert Littel. I think The Company is a great book. However, all the things Littel praises are shown in a different light in Untold History.
For instance, the CIA's reliance on Nazi spies and a Nazi intelligence network made great reading in The Company until Untold History pointed out that the Nazis had their own agenda and gave the CIA a lot of misinformation and disinformation to try to do damage to their hated Russian enemies.
Also, Littel praised The CIA project to parachute Nazi-sympathizer Ukranian nationalists into Ukraine in late 1940's to engage in violence. Untold History points out that this was an act of war and would have led to war if Russia had done this to USA via Mexico or Canada. Also, it violated an agreement between FRD, Churchill, and Stalin, just as current US and EU activities in Ukranian violate an agreement between Gorbachev and Bush 41.
It is very important to learn the real history of the United States. It is the only way not to repeat the same mistakes and fix the problems we have.
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