Books & Review | Cole Garner Hill
Updated: Oct 29, 2012 10:09 AM EDT

untold history of the us

“The Untold History of the United States” by Stone and Kuznick is available Tuesday Oct. 30.
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President Barack Obama leads in the most recent Reuters/Ipsos national presidential poll released Oct. 28, at 47 to 45 percent over Governor Mitt Romney. But some unlikely faces are emerging to criticize the President as Election Day approaches: former supporters like director Oliver Stone.

"The Untold History of the United States," a new book from filmmaker Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, provides a scathing critique of President Obama's first four years in office. Stone, infamous for his vivid portrayals of American history in Academy Award-winning movies like "JFK," "Platoon," "Born On the Fourth of July," and "Wall Street," once again liberally interprets the scope of U.S. history from the beginning of the 20th century until today.

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Scheduled for release just a week before Election Day, Stone's book puts both Republicans and Democrats square in the crosshairs, but reserves the majority of its disappointment for President Obama.

"The country Obama inherited was indeed in shambles, but Obama took a bad situation and, in certain ways, made it worse," Stone and Kuznick wrote. "...[R]ather than repudiating the policies of Bush and his predecessors, Obama has perpetuated them."

Obama's election "felt like a kind of expiation for the sins of a nation whose reputation had been sullied, as we have shown throughout this book, by racism, imperialism, militarism, nuclearism, environmental degradation and unbridled avarice," they write.

Parsing subjects like Wall Street reform, health care, and the Afghanistan war, Stone and Kuznick chide Obama for breaking campaign promises and continuing the policies of President George W. Bush, the real focus of the book's condemnation.

According to Stone and Kuznick, in some instances Obama was more aggressively anti-progressive than Bush's White House.

"Obama asserted presidential power in ways that must have made Dick Cheney jealous," they wrote.

"In 2011, Obama defied his own top lawyers, insisting that he did not need congressional approval under the War Powers Resolution to continue military activities in Libya," they continued, in their write-up of Obama's handling of intervention in that country.

"The Untold History of the United States" will be accompanied by a 10-part documentary series on Showtime set to debut Nov. 12.

Stone, traditionally liberal, was fed up with the American two party system. The filmmaker says his main goal in writing the book and making the documentary series was simple - he just wanted "to generate a national conversation," Stone said in an interview with Zap2it.

"Both parties made it clear they will enforce the old rules of the empire," Stone says.

"There is no one talking about what we are talking about," Stone says. "Maybe Dennis Kucinich, but the media is not listening. What John Mitchell said in 1970 is that this country will go so far to the right we will no longer recognize it."

Stone said in 2008 that he backed Obama, but earlier in 2011 said that he would support GOP Rep. Ron Paul over Obama if he could.

"I like Ron Paul's magnetism, his decency, his honor and his foreign policy," he said in a June interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Nevertheless, he adds, "It's hard for me to vote Republican."

"Obama has carried on the Bush war on terror and has not addressed all the things he promised he would do to curtail the hype and fear that pervade this country."

Although, Stone conceded, "Obama's doing his best."

While Stone supports Paul, and is disappointed in President Obama, don't expect the director to vote Romney on Election Day.

"I'm not going to vote for that idiot," he says.

"The Untold History of the United States" by Stone and Kuznick is available Tuesday Oct. 30. 


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