Academy award-winning director and screenwriter Oliver Stone spoke Thursday night at Union South along with American University professor Peter Kuznick as part of the Union’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
The lecture began with a screening of Stone’s new Showtime original series “Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States,” which documents the “untold” and classified stories behind America’s history.
Stone’s screening showed both George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s administrations approaches to the “War on Terror,” highlighting similarities between the two in both economic and strategic application.
“What we’re looking for are patterns,” Kuznick said “It’s troubling because it’s extremely bipartisan. It doesn’t matter if a conservative right wing like Bush is in power, or liberal left wing like Obama is in power. That’s what we find troubling, and we wanted to trace that history of American militarism between presidents in this series.”
Both Kuznick and Stone fielded questions from an audience of students, faculty and citizens of the Madison community about the docu-series and about their world outlooks for about an hour.
Many of the audience’s questions addressed Stone’s distrust of the military industrial complex and the United States’ foreign policy.
“The growth of the machine was starting to expand right after World War Two,” Stone said. “Seven hundred bases, 1,000 bases, bases ringing China, bases ringing Russia. This is an insane period. Especially to older people who have seen this militarization happen before.”
Stone and Kuznick signed their book, “The Untold History of the United States” after the lecture, giving fans and attendees the chance to meet Stone personally and talk more about the content of the lecture and the docu-series.
The book and the series alike aim to inform people, specifically young people about the history of the United States that will not be told anywhere else.
“Tell it fast, tell it excitingly,” Stone said. “It’s a tremendous narrative. I was making [the series] with a view towards my children — that a 17-year-old can still understand it even with the speed of the documentary. It was made with the idea that people are smart.”
[Joey Reuteman/ The Badger Herald]