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WHV Press Release: The Untold History of the United States (Blu-ray) (DVD)


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#1 of 4 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 14 2013 - 06:22 AM

“Riveting, eye-opening, and thought-provoking…Achieves what history, at its best, ought to do... can’t recommend it highly enough.” 
                                           - Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian


Untold History is the most important historical narrative of this century; a carefully researched and brilliantly rendered account.”

           - Martin Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning coauthor of American Prometheus with Kai Bird


“[Stone] has consistently devoted his storytelling skills and his moral sensibility to creating a counternarrative to the enormous tide of hogwash that dominates most public discussion of America.”

                                                - Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com


The Untold History of the United States

Academy Award® Winning Director Oliver Stone’s Showtime Series Debuts On Blu-ray™ and Digital Download October 15


More Than 3-1/2 hours of Unaired Material Including Two New Chapters and an Interview with Oliver Stone and Author/Political Philosopher Tariq Ali


BURBANK, Calif. August 14, 2013 – On October 15, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will debut on Blu-ray The Untold History of the United States, a ten-part Showtime Original Series from three-time Academy Award®-winning writer and director Oliver Stone.* The in-depth, surprising, and totally riveting series, co-written by Stone with Peter Kuznick and Matt Graham, was directed and narrated by Stone. This is the first time the complete series will be available on Blu-ray in the U.S. The Untold History of the United States will also be available for digital download.


Stone and Kuznick, esteemed American University Associate Professor of History, and director of the Nuclear Studies Institute, co-authored the companion book (Gallery Books) to the series, whichpresents our country’s unlearned history, drawing on archival findings from around the world and recently declassified material. The documentary looks back at human events that at the time went under-reported, but that crucially shaped America's unique and complex history throughout the 20th century. Covering the time period from the atomic bombing of Japan to the Cold War, through the fall of Communism to the events of today, the documentary will be available as a 4-disc set at $49.99 SRP.


Beside the 10 chapters, this release will boast more than three and a half hours of bonus material, including two unaired chapters and a new companion documentary featuring Stone and Tariq Ali – author, philosopher, activist, writer, socialist leader, editor – who worked with Stone on the documentary South of the Border.


“There’s plenty here to argue about…but that’s one of the things that make Stone’s work so engaging and rewarding,” says Jon Wiener writing about the series in The Nation.


Wiener goes on to say:


“Stone is quick to acknowledge that he is hardly the first to present this kind of alternative, critical view—his illustrious predecessors include, of course, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, and also the best-selling Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. But neither of those historians ever had a ten-part series on cable television. Only Oliver Stone has the power to pull that off.

“At many pivotal moments, Stone argues, history could have taken a radically different course. The missed opportunities, the roads not taken—these are Stone’s central themes, which he argues with energy, passion and a mountain of evidence:

“1. If Henry Wallace had won the vice presidential nomination in 1944, he would have become president when Roosevelt died in 1945, and we probably would not have bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and could have avoided the cold war as well.

“2. Even with Truman as president in 1945, it was not a foregone conclusion that the United States would drop the bomb. Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur both opposed it, along with most of the other top generals and admirals—and they were joined by many of the scientists who had developed the bomb.


“3. If JFK had not been shot in 1963, Stone is convinced he would have pulled US forces out of Vietnam and negotiated an end to the cold war.


“4. If George W. Bush had listened to his intelligence agencies in 2001, the 9/11 attacks would not have taken place.”


Beyond these points, Stone and Kuznick’s ultimate argument is the United States has accelerated from a national security state, which after the fall of communism in 1991, grew unthinkingly into a global security state with sole superpower status.  The United States has, in effect, become an empire.  Whether it’s become a tyranny is a question that is fiercely debated in these chapters.


Periods the Series Covers:


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.


The Untold History of the United States

Street Date: October 15, 2013

Order Due Date: September 10, 2013

Pricing: $49.99 SRP

Run Time: 801 mins

Catalog #: 1000420438


Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.


Academy Awards® and Oscar® are both registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 4 Hollywoodaholic


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Posted August 14 2013 - 09:10 AM

This was a pretty good program, I saw it on Showtime, very sober and balanced, just the unpublicized facts, no big Oliver Stone hyperbole spin. My big complaint was that it's just a relentlessly dry narration (Oliver Stone) over edited B-roll stock footage, with little else to break it up. It's tough to absorb all the information like that. He could've used some production cues from Ken Burns, but then this series probably had a very tight budget with little sponsor or additional support.


I'd recommend it to history teachers, but who wants our children students to get even more cynical that quickly. It's a nasty history below the surface.

#3 of 4 Sam Favate

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Posted August 15 2013 - 05:17 PM

This is the kind of show I can never seem to find the time for when it is on TV, but will enjoy seeing at my leisure on blu-ray.

#4 of 4 Mike*HTF


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Posted August 16 2013 - 02:37 PM

So this is a BD only release?

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