72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Director Oliver Stone visits UMass Boston to share and discuss ‘The Untold History of The United States’

Oscar-winning Director Oliver Stone and collaborator Professor Peter Kuznick visited the University of Massachusetts Boston on April 5 with regard to their 2012 Showtime television series and companion book, “The Untold History of The United States.”
The event began at 1 p.m. in McCormack Hall’s Lipke Auditorium and was organized by UMass Boston’s Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences.
Stone and Kuznick spoke and answered audience questions following a partial screening of their Showtime series. “The Untold History of The United States” chronicles America’s past from 1898 on, differing from what is widely accepted and taught. The segment also addressed the Vietnam War and Cold War era.
“There are so many people that are still so ignorant of what this history has been in America. They don’t understand their own country and what it tells them,” says Stone.
“What we are trying to do with this 12-part series and book is challenge the notions of American exceptionalism…challenge the idea of American unmitigated benevolence,” says Kuznick.
Stone has won three Academy Awards over a career that includes directing films “JFK” and “Natural Born Killers” and penned the screenplays of “Platoon” and “Scarface.” Kuznick is an associate professor of history at American University and the Director of its Nuclear Studies Institute.
“What we want to do is show Vietnam in context, that what was done there was part of a pattern of US policies and militarism that echoes on to today,” said Kuznik about the screening at the Umass Boston event.
A Vietnam veteran himself, Stone says it took until 2008 for him to “really learn the depths of this thing,” and that “[he] hope this series can last.”
Student Leigh-Anne Carr said about the event, “I was extremely engaged and moved to take action at the end.” She considered it “eye opening.”
Joseph Ramsey, a Professor of English and American Studies at UMass Boston says, “The series makes a compelling case that imperial aggression has not been the ‘exception’ but the rule of US foreign policy in the 20th century.”
This past October marked the starting of Stone and Kuznik’s Untold History Education Project, which provides professors with lesson plans that draw from the series and book and has them touring schools.