Synopses & Reviews
In working together on two challenging new documentariesSouth of the Border
and the forthcoming The Untold History of the United States
series for Showtimefilmmaker Oliver Stone engaged with author and filmmaker Tariq Ali in a probing, hard-hitting conversation on
the politics of history.
Their dialogue brings to light a number of forgottenor deliberately buriedepisodes of American history, from the US intervention against the Russian Revolution and the dynamic radicalism of the
Industrial Workers of the World to Henry Wallaces sidelining by Democratic Party machine insiders and the ongoing interference of the United States in Pakistani political affairs.
For Stone and Alitwo of our most insightful observers on history and popular cultureno topic is sacred, no orthodoxy goes unchallenged.
TARIQ ALI is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London.
OLIVER STONE has directed, among other films, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, W., World Trade Center, Alexander, Any Given Sunday, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, Heaven and Earth, JFK, The Doors, Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio, Wall Street, Platoon, Salvador, and the documentaries Looking for Fidel, Comandante, Persona Non Grata, South of the Border, and the upcoming The Untold History of the United States series for Showtime.
Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali, two of our most provocative and radical voices, engage in a thought-provoking conversation about historyripping apart entrenched establishment narratives which have suppressed the
alternative visions we desperately need for our radical social movements and a true participatory democracy.”
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, the Nation
Reading On History is like watching a fascinating and mesmerizing film . . . a must read if you want to understand the world today.”
Michael Ratner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights
Oliver Stone asks smart questions about the rise and fall of the United States and its empire in the twentieth century, and Tariq Ali provides smart answers. The result is a provocative book that is sure to
incite controversy and stimulate debate.”
Jon Wiener, professor of history at the University of California at Irvine
In a wide-ranging conversation, filmmaker Oliver Stone and writer Tariq Ali discuss world history from the seventh century to today.
About the Author
OLIVER STONE has won Oscars for directing Born On The Fourth Of July” and Platoon”, and for writing Midnight Express”. He was nominated for director (JFK) and co-writer (Nixon). Hes also received three Golden Globes for directing (Platoon”, Born On The Fourth Of July” and JFK”), one for writing (Midnight Express”). He is director for the forthcoming Showtime 10-hour series Forgotten History of the United States.”
Stone wrote a novel, published in 1997 by St. Martins Press, entitled A Childs Night Dream”, based on Stones experiences as a young man. He is a contributor of some 200 pages of essays on movies, culture, politics and history to the book Oliver Stones USA”, edited by Robert Brent Toplin and published by the University Press of Kansas (2000). Stone wrote the afterword for a book of scholarly essays analyzing his film Alexander” called Oliver Stones Alexander: Film, History, and Cultural Studies” (2009).
Stone was born September 15, 1946 in New York, New York. Prior to his film career, Stone worked as a schoolteacher in Vietnam, a Merchant Marine sailor, taxi driver, messenger, production assistant, and sales representative. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam in 1967-68. He was wounded twice and decorated with the Bronze Star for Valor. After returning from Vietnam, he completed his undergraduate studies at New York University Film School in 1971.
TARIQ ALI is a writer and filmmaker. He has written more than two dozen books on world history and politics, and seven novels (translated into over a dozen languages) as well as scripts for the stage and screen. He is an editor of New Left Review and lives in London. His website is http://tariqali.org/.