Blu-ray, Digital: The Untold History of the United States

Blu-ray and Digital Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $49.99
Studio: Warner Home Video

The Untold History of the United StatesFilmmaker Oliver Stone (Savages) looks at little-known 20th century events that shaped the history of America in the Showtime documentary series The Untold History of the United States.

For the TV show, Stone partnered with co-writers Matt Graham and Peter Kuznick, the American University Associate Professor of History and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute. The team drew on archival findings from around the world and declassified material to look at human events that went under-reported at their time. The Untold History looks at the period from the atomic bombing of Japan to the Cold War, the fall of Communism and today’s society.

The television series is told in 10 chapters, but the four Blu-ray discs also contain two unaired chapters and a companion documentary featuring Stone and author, philosopher, activist Tariq Ali, who worked with Stone on the documentary South of the Border.

The Untold History of the United States examines pivotal moments that, if different choices had been made, would have changed the course of America. For example, if Henry Wallace had won the vice presidential nomination in 1944, he would have become President when Roosevelt dies in 1945 and most likely would not have bombed Japan and would have avoided the Cold War. And, if George W. Bush has listed to his intelligence agencies in 2001, the 9/11 attacks would not have happened. Through various events, Stone and Kuznick argue, the United States has moved from a national security state to a global security state with sole superpower status — in effect, an empire.

The periods covered in the documentary are:

Disc 1

  • Chapter 1: World War II
  • Chapter 2: Roosevelt, Truman & Wallace
  • Chapter 3: The Bomb

Disc 2

  • Chapter 4: The Cold War 1945-1950
  • Chapter 5: The ’50s: Eisenhower, The Bomb & The Third World
  • Chapter 6: JFK: To The Brink
  • Chapter 7: Johnson, Nixon & Vietnam: Reversal of Fortune

Disc 3

  • Chapter 8: Reagan, Gorbachev & Third World – Rise of the Right
  • Chapter 9: George H.W. Bush & Clinton: Squandered Peace – New World Order
  • Chapter 10: George W. Bush & Obama: Age Of Terror

Disc 4 (new)

Prologue – Chapter A: World War I, The Russian Revolution, & Woodrow Wilson: Roots of Empire — How did the United States become an empire? A look back at the election of 1900 and the Spanish-American War—climaxing with World War I and the Russian Revolution as the mother of the ensuing conflict between the British, Soviet, and newborn American Empire.

Prologue – Chapter B: 1920–1940: Roosevelt, Hitler, and Stalin: The Battle Of Ideas — Franklin Roosevelt inherits a divided nation, rife with conflict.  Struggle leads to change in the United States, Hitler rises to power in Germany, and World War Two pushes the U.S. and the Soviet Union toward an uneasy alliance.

Bonus Documentary: A Conversation with History: Tariq Ali And Oliver Stone — In this companion film to The Untold History of the United States, Oliver Stone and author/political philosopher Tariq Ali discuss a wide range of topics, accompanied by archival footage not found in the series, in a probing, hard-hitting conversation on the politics of history.

A companion book by Stone and Kuznick also is available.

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.