Saturday, November 17, 2012


First Look at Oliver Stone's New History Series

It's called "The Untold History of the United States" but that is a pretty complete misnomer. In the first episode he told me pretty much nothing I didn't already know. I'm willing to bet that most reasonably well educated people knew most if not all of what he said and showed in the 50 plus minutes of the show. But there are a lot of things he has chosen not to tell, and a lot he says that is only partially true or completely non-representative, that is, the anecdote he relates is the exception that tests the rule.

I have to admit I am completely at sea when he talks about an American Empire. We don't have one. You have to change the meaning of the word 'Empire' beyond all recognition to apply it to America.

He implies with his lionization of vice president, for a while, Henry Wallace, that Democrats in the 30s and 40s were the spearhead of civil rights for blacks. Nope. The Democrat party and its armed/terrorist wing, the Ku Klux Klan, were the oppressors of blacks though out America. It was now unknown Republican politicians who were then fighting the battle to overcome Jim Crow laws and bigotry.

One would never know from Stone's facile retelling of the armed struggles in the 30s and 40s, including WWII, where on the political continuum the belligerents stood. I have no problem with holding up the USSR for praise for its citizens' sacrifice and courage fighting about 80% of the war against the Nazis and winning the conflict with only a minor assist from the Allies. But that doesn't make the USSR a force for good. Far from it. The war in Europe was largely lefty against lefty, the national socialists against the international socialists. That's untold history from Mr. Stone and Peter Kuznik. Beam in the Commies' eyes ignored. Speck in Americans' eyes harped upon.

One cannot apply the left to right political continuum to Japanese politics in the 30s. Japan was then divided between the party that really wanted to create an Empire and the party that kinda didn't. They didn't much read or follow either Marx or Burke.

I could go on and on, but needless to say, there is so much to history that every retelling leaves things out. I just wanted to point out the irony of Stone retelling history he only thinks has been untold while not telling some very important details about his friends on the left and the extreme left.

Cum grano salis, if you want to stomach the lefty love-in of history.  

Pas D'Ennemi à Gauche, I always say.


STONE blows it ---YET AGAIN.
I put Stone in the same category as Krugman and Friedman (Thomas): why does any rational person care what they think?
They've demonstrated repeatedly that they're parrots of the self-delusional persuasion.
I used to think that I needed to follow them to "know what the 'enemy' is thinking."
No more: I'll not waste either time nor money on any of them.
Couldn't agree more, but yet they are taken seriously by a lot of people. I think I'll continue to watch the show to see the images it has collected. Ever a history junkie, I.
Yes, evidencing that you CAN fool some of the people all of the time....

I have no TV, so it's not a choice I have to make. I made that overarching choice a dozen years ago & have yet to regret it.

Terrorist-thriller novel recommendation: The Aden Effect, by Claude Berube. It's got pirates, diplomats, and the U.S. Navy -- thriller fiction doesn't get much better than that. :)

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