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November 14th, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Director Oliver Stone covers 'The Untold History of the United States' in new book, Showtime series

Critically acclaimed director Oliver Stone is now the co-author of a controversial new history book entitled, “The Untold History of the United States.” In it, he covers what he considers “ignored” stories of the nation’s past. The book releases in tandem with a new 10-part Showtime documentary series, which premiers this week.

Stone joins Soledad O’Brien on “Starting Point” to talk about the importance of understanding the country's history.

Stone describes the rationale behind the title of the series. “It could have been called the ‘Ignored History’,” Stone says. “This stuff was at points in the newspapers, or sometimes in the headlines even. But it’s been somewhat forgotten.”

Stone says scholars at the college level and historians have knowledge of the stories he’s highlighted, “but it’s not in the general consensus in the high school level.”

Stone feels history is glossed over in textbooks after World War II, where his book begins.

“The dropping of the atomic bomb is very much the origin myth, you know, that we get in school. We had to drop the bomb to save American lives because the Japanese were fanatics and would fight to the end. We show, in the course of the chapters, how the Japanese were finished...and how the Soviets had come into the war and were cleaning up the Japanese army.” Stone says “there was no necessity to drop the bomb, but it was dropped to warn the Russians, and that starts basically this Cold War conflict that dominates our lives and dominates our national security structure.”

Stone thinks Americans need to educate themselves with the facts and aims the documentary series at American youth. “If we can understand where we came from, we can understand where we are now,” Stone says.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. HIP OP

    STONE is even disappointing diehard fans with this half–baked,
    lamely executed effort.

    he begins 5 decades too late –makes NO layout of examination
    of inter-genational, unaccountable, Globalist capstone USURY banking
    and Globalist monopoly -says next to nothing about the London and Wall Street
    funded and groomed EXTERMINIST 'social engineers' Lenin and Trotsky,
    and says not a word about the capstone agenda for Global EUGENICS
    and MASS EXTERMINATION.

    --Son of Wall Street -former Yalie, Oliver Stone was once a soldier,
    but in 2012 he's worse than AWOL, –he's 'on board'. . .

    December 2, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Fred Laflamme

    Just watched Oliver Stone's "Untold History" premier on CNN. It's still untold. How could Stone so egregiously omit the involvement of Canada in World War ll.
    Fact: 1.1 million Canadians actively served in the war
    Fact: 100,000 Canadians were wounded or killed.
    Fact: The war cost Canada 22 billion dollars.
    Fact: Canada entered the war a full 2 years before the US.
    Fact: Canadians successfully took Juno Beach in Normandy a decisive victory that led to the beginning of the end for the Nazis.
    Count me as one Canadian disappointed in Mr. Stone's version of the "Untold Story" and if Episode 2 is not more accurate and inclusive of America's allies in that war I will be tuning out.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. OP HIP

    Stone, yet again, blows it. He brings NOTHING new to the table
    –and begins his survery half a century too late.

    Further, for a 'radical' –he betrays his capstone essense by dissing ANY
    address of the nature, practice and horrific –EUGENICS and SLAVERY
    linked history of unaccountable,intergenerational - Global USURY.

    Also -little or nothing on the grooming and installation of Lenin and Trotsky
    by London and New York -and the century's FIRST and -we might add, defining TERROR.

    Finally -not a word on the deadly sinister cabal of TAX FREE –trillionaire funded,
    USRY, Globalism and EUGENICS mongering, nation subverting -foundations
    and NGOs.

    -–STEER CLEAR!

    November 18, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. matthewdowd

    Oliver Stone is CIA.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Yakobi

    After listening to Oliver Stone over the past couple days, I've come to this conclusion:
    He has got to be one of the stupidest people on this planet.

    "there was no necessity to drop the bomb"
    Really? Let me count the reasons this is utterly false...1) The Japanese were far from being "finished" as he claims. The fanaticism of the Japanese defending their homeland is legendary. One need only look at the battle for Okinawa for proof. 2) The Japanese people knew nothing about the defeat of their military. They were being told by their government to defend their homeland with sticks to their death if necessary, and they surely would have. 3) Even after dropping the FIRST atomic bomb, Japan did not surrender. 4) There were elements of the military government that wanted to continue the war even after the SECOND atomic bomb was dropped. 5) Only a decision by the emperor himself–whom the Japanese people considered divine–to broadcast a message of surrender convinced the Japanese to quit fighting. 6) Despite this decision, a coup by several Japanese army officers attempted to seize the emperor's recorded message so it could not be broadcast. 7) The Russians were not "cleaning up the Japanese Army". They waited as long as they possibly could before declaring war on Japan. They said they would enter the war within 3 months of the end of the war in Europe. They declared war on Japan 3 months to the day after Germany surrendered. In fact, they attacked Manchuria the same day the 2nd atomic bomb was dropped. After the 1st bomb, the Russians realized Japan would likely surrender soon after, and decided to grab as much territory as they could.

    These are historic facts. Not made-up, bee-ess anti-American "history" as Oliver Stone is known for in such movies as "JFK".

    November 15, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. mghhnj

    If you can't make it into a 30 second clip, the news media aren't interested. If it isn't satisfying to advertisers, it won't be aired.

    November 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Ted Ward

    Stone is dead wrong on dropping the bomb. They, the Japanese, were absolutely not done in Japan where we would have had to fight them at great cost for every hill and stream across the entire country, which we would have done and that would have killed millions of the Japanese, many of them civilians. It would have been immoral and inexcusable for any president with such a weapon to not have used it to end the war which it most certainly did. And it saved lives in the process, including almost certainly my own father's life. So I'm quite glad to be here as a result!

    November 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. scott

    Oliver , oliver I watched your untold history and it was crap. You are a dangerous demented man and you are a mediocre film maker at best, and your one sided view of history is distrubing and sad. Please go away thank you

    November 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Brian Fr Langley

    Talk about revisionist history. While true an excellent arguement can be made that dropping the bomb was immoral. (Just war doctrine developed by so called civilized Chistian Nations only allowed for war to be made on actual combatants). The idea that Japan was finished is ridiculous. Both Iwo Jima and Okinawa were faught in 1945. The Japanese were convinced that the allies would not suffer the casualties required to conquer their homeland. The Russians had already suffered nearly 20,000,000 dead. (yes that's twenty million) The vivid reality of the bomb's success is best pictured in the (now) old photo's of sobbing allied soldiers who are just realizing they won't have to leave the European theater for the Asian, and that they now have actually survived this war. In the end the Japanese sowed the wind, and for their efforts reaped the whirlwind. As a Canadian who remembers the sacrifices of my own countryman in that terrible conflagration, I thank God not only for those (500,000) Americans who died in that appalling War, but also for the untold tens of thousands whose lives were spared, by Trumans decison to drop the bomb.

    November 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. TheProThinker

    Oliver Stone is full of crap. Harry Truman would give him an honest string of expletives if he were still living. Stone doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. The necessity of dropping the bomb has been questioned for years, never successfully. Besides, the A-bomb, frightening and new as it was, didn't kill nearly as many people as the firebombing of Tokyo.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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