You think you know about the history of the United States? You don’t know anything. After watching Oliver Stone’s ten part Showtime documentary “The Untold History of the United States,” I also came to the harsh reality of how little I knew. Basically everything you have learned in history class has been a lie.
I know what some of you are thinking “Oliver Stone is just a crazy conspiracy theorist,” and that was my first thought as well. But after reading reviews and the process behind making the documentary I learned it had been fact checked by Stone’s sources, Showtime’s sources and independent fact checkers. As far as my research showed not one thing was found to be incorrect.
The documentary starts around 1939 with FDR as president and follows his dealings with Churchill and Stalin throughout World War 2. It shows the viewer how Stalin and the Red Army essentially won the war while the British were fighting to protect their own empire outside of Europe and the Americans were focused more in the Pacific. You learn how a man named Henry Wallace who could have been President Wallace if not for the dirty politics that went into getting Truman the Vice Presidential nomination could have changed the course of history for the better. The documentary then goes into the Truman administration and shows how Japan was already negotiating peace when we dropped the atomic bombs on them. The reason we dropped the atomic bombs then? Just to show Stalin we had them.
Each part of the ten part series focuses on a president’s term or a decade from FDR up to Obama. With the exception of FDR and JFK none of the presidents look good. This isn’t a slander job piece against Republican presidents making Democrats look good or the other way around. This documentary is a fair look at everything. Oliver Stone doesn’t give his opinions in his narration he just reads facts and quotes and documents. Before watching this I didn’t see why Kennedy was that great and I thought Carter wasn’t that bad. After watching I learned how truly great Kennedy was and how awful Carter truly was. I always knew Reagan was terrible from what I saw from reading old articles and heard from old comedians, but I never really knew the extent of the damage he caused or the extent of the crimes he committed. You learn that you shouldn’t necessarily vote on who is running for president but try to focus on the company he keeps and the types of advisors he surrounds himself with. Or herself for the future.
I learned the big bad Communists weren’t really all that big and bad and scary. Gorbachev was much more instrumental in ending the Cold War that Reagan kept extending because he didn’t want to look weak. This documentary shows that pure ego and the American “cowboy” bravado of being a tough guy has always been put in front of the people and what is right. The arms race with the Russians for control of nuclear weapons was never close as we dominated the entire time.
The amount of times the American government has had democratically elected leaders of other countries assassinated to install right wing dictatorship puppet governments is staggering. I always knew it went on but not to the extent it has. The atrocities committed in Vietnam make the Nazis look like the Teletubbies.
I know this all comes off as the ramblings of a conspiracy nut when all read out of context but I wanted to write this review to spark interest in learning more about what I just typed. Do yourselves a favor and watch this series. It is on Showtime On Demand until May and there is also a book. Oliver Stone’s The Untold History of the United States is a game changer and it is mind blowing.
You can watch the first part of the ten part series on YouTube here.