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The Untold History of the United States Hardcover – Oct 30 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (Oct. 30 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451613512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451613513
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 5.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick have done what many would consider impossible. They have written a political history of the United States in the 20th Century that tells us exactly how the United States became an empire through conscious decisions, and how the struggle to maintain that empire will go on despite which political party holds office. It is a brilliant survey of the untold story." (Lloyd C. Gardner, author of The Road to Tahrir Square)

“Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick provide a critical overview of US foreign policy during the past few decades. There is much here to reflect upon. Such a perspective is indispensable…At stake is whether the United States will choose to be the policeman of a “Pax Americana,” which is a recipe for disaster, or partner with other nations on the way to a safer, more just and sustainable future.” (President Mikhail Gorbachev)

“A brave revisionist study which shatters many foreign policy myths… the Stone-Kuznick team grapples with the unsavory legacy of American militarism. . . . Make room on your book shelf for this compelling leftist primer.” (Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Deluge)

"Howard [Zinn] would have loved this ‘people’s history’ of the American Empire. It's compulsive reading: brilliant, a masterpiece!” (Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers)

“Finally, a book with the guts to challenge the accepted narrative of recent American history… This is the 'Washington didn't really chop down the cherry tree' book for our last hundred years." (Bill Maher)

“Kuznick and Stones’ Untold History is the most important historical narrative of this century.” (Martin Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of American Prometheus)

"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." (Lawrence Wittner, author of One World or None: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement Through 1953)

"Stone and Kuznick provide a boldly critical view of the most painful aspects of American history. Their perspective on nuclear danger is especially illuminating. They make clear how close we have come to the ultimate human absurdity of annihilating ourselves as a species with our own technology. One thinks of the Enlightenment motto, "Dare to know!" The knowledge we gain can be a source of powerful wisdom." (Robert Jay Lifton, author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism)

"We won't be able to manage America's future if we don't know its past. In their Untold Story, Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick peel away layers of misleading myth about America in the 20th century. Some will be surprised, others angry. Most will understand their nation much better, especially the young. Then perhaps we can move forward in the new century." (Jeff Madrick, author of Taking America)

It’s time for serious people to confront rather than avoid or attempt to denigrate the profound challenges raised by Stone and Kuznick. They are asking (and answering!) all the right questions. (Gar Alperovitz, author of The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb)

Many books have been written about specific episodes of American intervention and military aggression. And yet the master narrative remains intact: the US is the "indispensable nation," relied upon by people and nations around the world to preserve the peace and defend freedom. The immense contribution of The Untold History of the United States is to shatter the conventional wisdom, challenging readers to re-conceptualise the American role in the world...Everyone, who reads The Untold History will learn something new and be compelled to examine long held assumptions. For students of US history, this is an invaluable work. (Carolyn Eisenberg, author of Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949)

"A fascinating and provocative work. This courageous and clear-minded account of American history and the foundations of the American empire is a milestone in a surprisingly small genre of books, namely, critical history written of and for the people. It should have the widest possible reading." (Bruce Cumings, author of The Korean War)

"Kuznick and Stone tell the untold history of the United States--the often disastrous consequences of American exceptionalism and global domination--with passion and clarity... beautifully illustrated, well-argued, and compellingly written." (Marilyn Young, author of The Vietnam Wars)

"The Untold History of the United States is one of the most important books of our time. Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick disabuse us of the popular notion that this country has always been a force for good in the world. They document the tragic consequences of U.S. imperialism, the commission of war crimes, and the decimation of civil liberties under the guise of the ‘war on terror’. This work should give us pause whenever we are asked to uncritically accept the idea of American exceptionalism. " (Marjorie Cohn, author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law)

About the Author

Oliver Stone made such iconic films as Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Salvador, and W.

Peter Kuznick is professor of history and director of the award-winning Nuclear Studies Institute at American University and is currently serving his fourth term as distinguished lecturer with the Organization of American Historians. He has written extensively about science and politics, nuclear history, and Cold War culture.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having a University Degree in History and being Canadian, which allows me to view American history at a distance I would say that this book is one of the most objective histories of the United States I have read. Unlike many other American History books which bury the historical context of a time or event under American values and views (such as patriotism, freedom, individuality, self determination, etc,,,, ad nauseum) "The Untold History of the United States" presents all the facts of the event, from all perspectives. Much of what is written here is not new as it has been recorded in other historical texts from other nations but has been discredited by American Academia as "America Bashing". It is not a criticism of the United States to point out all the errors, misjudgements and false assumptions it has made historically which has caused tremendous upheaval in the world, its just the facts. If you are considering buying this book here is a simple test; Was America justified in involving itself in Vietnam and fighting the Vietnam War? If your answer is "yes" then this book is not for you. If you answered "No", then this book will give you the facts to support the established view that the Vietnam War is recognized globally as an American Political and Military disaster, which wasted the lifes of American soldiers for no clear gain.
An excellent history book, Americans need to step out side their self righteous bubble and read it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished it yesterday. Whatever you might think of Stone as a director, storyteller, or conspiracy buff, this book makes the reader think, ask questions, refer to other source material, and seek further information to elaborate on what is contained in the book. Any book that has the power to move the reader in this manner has accomplished its mission.

One of the book's attractions is that it validated many of the suspicions that I have held for a long time, especially the senseless dropping of the atomic bombs during WW II.

I think the book does an excellent job of explaining the nightmare of nuclear war from when it began as a threat after WW II to the present. It makes for terrifying reading. I also suspect that many readers will feel real rage while reading these pages about how a select few megalomaniacs seriously considered killing the world with a nuclear war. .

I have the feeling that I am going to re-read the entire book or certain chapters of it to get a refresher. I have also ordered the DVD series of the book.

When I ordered this book it was with the expectation that it would inform me. It did far more than that, so it more than met my expectations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A most valuable perspective! There are many sides to every story and unfortunately we normally get to hear just a carefully 'selected' few. Dissenting views are almost always labelled as crack pot or 'conspiracy', and this book too has suffered that labelling.

This is a History , a perspective, we all need to be aware of.
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Format: Hardcover
This book seems to aim for textbook-style comprehensiveness rather than analytic depth. It does provide some analysis, but mainly in the form of quotations from wise and authoritative sources rather than of the more original sort. Its purported aim is to tell the "untold" story of US foreign policy in the twentieth century, but many of the most interesting parts deal with domestic policy. An interesting companion volume could detail the obvious analysis Kuznick, seemingly out of academic restraint, withheld.
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Format: Hardcover
After hardly being able to put the book down, I finished reading "The Untold History of the United States" and realized that I will have to read it again. The amount of information contained in these pages is overwhelming; the absolutely horrifying descriptors of events which have occurred during that last seventy+ years which could easily have resulted in the end of life on Earth are terrifying. This is a must read for every thinking human being. The amount of absolute power invested in our politicians is equally nerve-wracking, and reading of their abuses of this power and their fallible personalities is illuminating. I recommend this book without qualification--and hope that those buttons controlling potential nuclear destruction of our planet will disappear completely.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best, most complete analysis of the true history of American foreign and domestic policy that I've seen yet. It's a pity that most Americans get a completely different story from their schools, their leaders, and their mass media....not to mention their 2 giant phony political parties, who do not serve the people who elect them, but the rich elite who pay them off and control them through corporate lobbying. If you want to know about and understand the tremendous harm that USA imperial policy has done to Latin Americans, Asians, and Middle Eastern people, and indeed the entire world, in the last hundred years or more, read this book. It's a wakeup call.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Travelling in the States after Christmas, I caught an episode of the (companion) documentary on tv, and found it a bracing alternative to the usual blind jingoism that passes for commentary there. Most of the facts will be known to anyone who tends to read, and think, critically, but this is a good single volume exploration of American imperialism and the myth of exceptionalism which is often used to justify it. I cannot wait to be able to buy the documentary itself.
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