Vice President Henry Wallace gave this speech in 1942, a time when Americans were debating wartime strategy and America’s role in the post-World War II order. Wallace’s speech, also known as “The Price of Free World Victory,” reiterated support for Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” and criticized Henry Luce’s concept of the “American Century.” Wallace declared that the United States had an obligation to contribute to the war and to the post-war settlement. He described a liberal world system in which freedom, fairness, and opportunity would promote global peace. – M.B. Masur, St. Anselm College
|Century of the Common Man|
Edited on Mon Mar-20-06 09:18 PM by pstans
Henry Wallace was perhaps one of the greatest Iowans to ever live. He developed the hybrid seed and founded Pioneer, which began the Green Revolution. He was the Sec. of Agriculture for 8 years under FDR and many of Wallace’s policies helped lead the nation out of the Great Depression. Then FDR named Wallace Vice President in 1940. In 1944, through some political manuevering at the Democratic Convention Harry Truman was put on the ticket as FDR’s VP. Months after the election FDR died, making Truman the President.Henry Wallace gave perhaps his most famous speech, “The Century of the Common Man,” in 1943, as WWII raged in Europe.
When the freedom-loving people march; when the farmers have an opportunity to buy land at reasonable prices and to sell the produce of their land through their own organizations, when workers have the opportunity to form unions and bargain through them collectively, and when the children of all the people have an opportunity to attend schools which teach them truths of the real world in which they live — when these opportunities are open to everyone, then the world moves straight ahead.
Wallace believed that if we fought WWII and didn’t solve the injustices in our nation by doing so, the high cost of war would not be worth it. So not only did he work to defeat Fascism abroad, he worked to benefit the common man all around the world.
We failed in our job after World War Number One. We did not know how to go about it to build an enduring world-wide peace. We did not have the nerve to follow through and prevent Germany from rearming. We did not insist that she “learn war no more.” We did not build a peace treaty on the fundamental doctrine of the people’s revolution. We did not strive whole-heartedly to create a world where there could be freedom from want for all peoples. But by our very errors we learned much, and after this war we shall be in position to utilize our knowledge in building a world which is economically, politically and, I hope, spiritually sound.
Wallace never became President. If he had the world would surely be a different place today. That doesn’t mean his message should be forgotten. We have started a new Century, so lets call for the 21st Century to be the Century of the Common Man. In a time when our nations priorities are backwards, we need a Century of the Common Man. There is no better place to start the call than in the state where Henry Wallace was born, Iowa.
Yes, and when the time of peace comes, The citizen will again have a duty, The supreme duty of sacrificing the lesser interest for the greater interest of the general welfare. Those who write the peace must think of the whole world. There can be no privileged peoples. We ourselves in the United States are no more a master race than the Nazis. And we can not perpetuate economic warfare without planting the seeds of military warfare. We must use our power at the peace table to build an economic peace that is just, charitable and enduring.
Link to Wallace’s speech: http://v1.winrock.org/wallacecenter/wallace/ccm.htm
Henry A. Wallace
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the vice president of the United States. For other people of the same name, seeHenry Wallace (disambiguation).
Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States(1941–1945), the Secretary of Agriculture (1933–1940), and the Secretary of Commerce (1945–1946). In the 1948 presidential election, Wallace was the nominee of theProgressive Party.
The Wallace family was of Scottish Irish Presbyterian stock, and had originally emigrated from Ulster, Ireland to Pennsylvania. Henry Agard Wallace’s grandfather, Henry Wallace or “Uncle Henry”, was a former Presbyterian minister who preached the “social gospel“. As a large landowner in Iowa “Uncle Henry” was an advocate of “scientific farming” and helped organize The Farmers’ Protective Association, Agricultural Editors Association, and the Iowa Improved Stock Association, becoming the editor of the Iowa Homestead, the state’s largest and most important farm publication. He viewed it as his life mission to serve God by helping his fellow farmers.
Henry Wallace’s son, and Henry Agard Wallace’s father, was Henry Cantwell Wallace, a farmer, newspaper editor, university professor and author, who would serve as the Secretary of Agriculture in the Republican administrations ofWarren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Henry Agard was born on October 7, 1888, at a farm near the village of Orient, Iowa, in Adair County, but the family later moved to Des Moines. Wallace’s mother, née May Brodhead, was deeply religious. She had been to college and was trained in music and art. May Wallace shared her love of plants with her son while he was still a boy, teaching him to cross-breed pansies. When the African-American “plant doctor” and future agronomist George Washington Carver became a student and later an instructor at Iowa State University, the Wallaces took him into their home, as racial prejudice prevented Carver from living in the dorm. As a boy, Wallace accompanied Carver on nature walks, identifying the botanical structures of wild flowers and prairie grasses. Carver left for Tuskegee when Wallace was eight, but his influence on Wallace was deep and lasting. By the age of ten, Wallace was experimenting with plant breeding in his own plot. He also developed a keen interest in math and statistics. At fifteen, he conducted experiments to demonstrate that the then-conventional method of judging the quality of corn strains solely by such aesthetic qualities as the beauty and symmetry of the ears was deeply flawed, failing to take into account the vigor and productivity of the whole plant as measured quantitatively. Wallace’s experiments proved that there was no relationship between yield and appearance. Where plant hybridity had traditionally been viewed negatively as “mongrelization” signaling decline, Wallace’s work introduced the concept of hybrid vigor.
Wallace attended Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa, graduating in 1910 with a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry. He worked on the editorial staff of the family-owned paper Wallaces’ Farmer in Des Moines from 1910 to 1924, and took the role of Chief Editor from 1924 to 1929. Wallace experimented with breeding high-yielding hybrid corn, and wrote a good number of publications on agriculture. In 1915, he devised the first corn-hog ratio charts indicating the probable course of markets. Wallace was also a practicing statistician, co-authoring an influential article with pioneering statistician George W. Snedecor of Iowa State University on computational methods for correlations and regressions and publishing sophisticated statistical studies in the pages of Wallaces’ Farmer. Snedecor invited Wallace to teach a graduate course on least squares. It was Wallace, more than any other individual, who introduced econometrics (a form of statistical analysis used by economists) to the field of agriculture.
In 1914, Wallace married Ilo Browne, and in 1926, with the help of a small inheritance that had been left to her, he founded the highly successful Hi-Bred Corn Company, which made him a wealthy man. The company later became Pioneer Hi-Bred, a major agriculture corporation. It was acquired in 1999 by theDupont Corporation for approximately $10 billion.
Wallace was raised as a Presbyterian and remained a devout Christian all his life. In college, however, he became increasingly dissatisfied with organized religion after reading William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). Around 1919 he stopped attending the Presbyterian church and spent the next ten years exploring other religious faiths and traditions, including spiritualism and esoteric religion. He later said, “I know I am often called a mystic, and in the years following my leaving the United Presbyterian Church I was probably a practical mystic … I’d say I was a mystic in the sense that George Washington Carver was – who believed God was in everything and therefore, if you went to God, you could find the answers.” Wallace was not a Theosophist, but like many “advanced” people in his era, was influenced by theosophical ideas. In 1925 he helped organize a Des Moines parish of the Liberal Catholic Church, an inclusive Christian denomination with ties to theosophy. In 1939, however, he formally joined the Episcopal Church.
One of the people with whom Wallace corresponded was the Irish poet, artist, and Theosophist George William Russell, also known as Æ, who was editor of the Irish Homestead, the weekly publication of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS). Russell, like Wallace fervently dedicated to revitalizing rural life, had pioneered the rural cooperative Credit Union movement in Ireland.
During the 1930s Wallace also engaged in an exchange of jocular notes with Russian émigré, artist, and peace activist Nicholas Roerich, his wife Helena, and Frances Grant, Secretary of the Roerich Museum in New York. In 1933 the Roosevelt Administration, which had just formally recognized the Soviet Union, sent Roerich on an expedition to Central Asia on behalf of the Department of Agriculture. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who was hostile to Wallace, writes that “Wallace did Roerich a number of favors, including sending him on an expedition to Central Asia presumably to collect drought-resistant grasses. In due course, H.A. [Wallace] became disillusioned with Roerich and turned almost viciously against him.” Wallace’s biographers John C. Culver and John Hyde, however, write that it is unclear with whom the idea for the Roerich expedition originated, since in cabinet meetings Wallace had opposed Roosevelt’s granting of recognition to the Soviet government because of its hostility to organized religion and his fear it would dump grain on the United States.
Roerich had gained international celebrity through his lobbying for the preservation of the world’s cultural and artistic monuments, a cause Wallace enthusiastically adopted. Roerich and especially his wifeHelena Ivanova had developed their own brand of Theosophy that they called Living Ethics or Agni Yoga, which emphasized the common thread that runs through all religions. He had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and invited to Herbert Hoover‘s White House. Wallace had met him in 1929 and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were also acquainted with him. Roosevelt, who perhaps came by an interest in Asian religions through his mother Sara, had also exchanged letters with Helena Roerich. Roosevelt had also introduced Wallace to The Glory Road a political allegory about the Great Depression written by popular Broadway playwright Arthur Hopkins. On the dust jacket, The Glory Road is said to describe, “the experience of the human race as it has tried to follow the road of truth while at the same time building up for itself a structure of civilization that will yield material wealth”. Culver and Hyde identify this best–selling book the source of the pen-names Wallace later adopted in some of his correspondence – perhaps including the so-called “guru letters” he exchanged with Roerich and his circle. For example. in a letter to FDR Wallace says, “You can be ‘the flaming one”. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. describes Wallace’s references to figures in The Glory Road (such as “the feverent one” and so on), as “rash” and “cabalistic”, bespeaking what Schlesinger calls “moods of rapture.” However, Wallace’s use of the term in addressing Roosevelt is likely an in-joke, since in The Glory Road, there is no “flaming one”, but rather a “flameless one’, “elected as his people’s executive”, supported by bankers and corrupt leaders, who urges the electorate to “buy, buy, buy” as a way out of economic collapse.
Secretary of Agriculture
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Wallace United States Secretary of Agriculture in hisCabinet, a post Wallace’s father, Henry Cantwell Wallace, had occupied from 1921 to 1924. Henry A. Wallace was a registered Republican and would remain so until 1936 but had been a progressive and had campaigned for Democratic candidate Al Smith. He was one of the three Republicans that Roosevelt appointed to his cabinet (the others were Harold Ickes, (Secretary of the Interior), and William H. Woodin(Secretary of the Treasury)). As Agriculture Secretary, Wallace’s policies were controversial: to raise prices of agricultural commodities he instituted the slaughtering of hogs, plowing up cotton fields, and paying farmers to leave some lands fallow. He also advocated the ever-normal granary concept. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, critical of Wallace in many respects, pronounced Wallace “the best secretary of agriculture the country has ever had.” “Wallace was a great secretary of agriculture”, Schlesinger wrote:
Wallace had exchanged letters with Nicholas Roerich, a Russian émigré and artist of international renown who was also a visionary peace activist interested in Tibetan Buddhism. Wallace and Roosevelt successfully lobbied Congress to support Roerich’s Banner and Pact of Peace, dedicated to protection of the artistic and scientific institutions of the world from the ravages of war; and, in 1935, delegates from 22 Latin American countries met in Washington, D.C., to sign the pact. In 1934, Roosevelt and the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent Roerich and his Harvard-educated son George, who had studied Asian languages, on an expedition to Central Asia to search for drought-resistant grasses to prevent another Dust Bowl. However, once there, Roerich upset the diplomatic world and the US agricultural experts who accompanied him by searching for and possibly trying to bring about a revival of the legendary Buddhist kingdom of Shambhalla, variously located in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, orManchuria. These areas were under the jurisdiction of the British and Japanese empires, which did not look kindly on movements for national self-determination. After Wallace recalled him, the U.S. government aggressively pursued Roerich for tax evasion, and the artist (the holder of a French passport) took up residence in India, where gurus were not considered so unusual.
During the 1940 presidential election, the Republicans gained possession of a series of letters that Wallace had written to Roerich in the 1930s. In them, Wallace had addressed Roerich as “Dear Guru“, signing himself as “G” – for Galahad, the name Roerich had bestowed on him. Wallace assured Roerich that he awaited “the breaking of the New Day” when the people of “Northern Shambhalla“, a Buddhist term for the “land of pure enlightenment”, would create an era of peace and plenty.
The Republicans had threatened to reveal to the public what they characterized as Wallace’s eccentric religious beliefs prior to the November 1940 elections, but they had been deterred when the Democrats countered by threatening to release information about Republican candidate Wendell Willkie‘s rumoredextramarital affair with the writer Irita Van Doren. The contents of the letters did become public seven years later, in the winter of 1947, when right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler published what purported to be extracts from them, characterizing Wallace as a “messianic fumbler,” and “off-center mentally”. During the 1948 campaign, Pegler and other hostile reporters, including H.L. Mencken, aggressively confronted Wallace on the subject at a public meeting in Philadelphia in July 1948. Wallace declined to comment, accusing the reporters of being Pegler’s stooges.
Wallace served as Secretary of Agriculture until September 1940, when Roosevelt selected him as his running mate in the Vice Presidential slot on the 1940 presidential ticket. However, the conservative wing of the Democratic Party, many of them Southerners, distrusted Wallace:
Boos echoed through the hall when Roosevelt’s choice of Wallace was announced and the delegates seemed on the verge of rebellion. It was only after Roosevelt threatened to decline the nomination and that Eleanor Roosevelt delivered a conciliatory speech that they grudgingly yielded. Wallace received the support of 626.3 votes (around 59% of the 1100 delegates) when nominated at the convention compared to 329.6 votes for Speaker of the House William B. Bankhead of Alabama.
Wallace was elected in November 1940 as Vice President on the Democratic Party ticket with PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt. The Electoral College Vote was 449 – 82. The inauguration took place on January 20, 1941, for the term ending January 20, 1945.
Roosevelt named Wallace chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare (BEW) and of the Supply Priorities and Allocations Board (SPAB) in 1941. Both positions became important with the U.S. entry into World War II. As he began to flex his newfound political muscle in his position with SPAB, Wallace came up against the conservative wing of the Democratic party in the form of Jesse H. Jones, Secretary of Commerce, as the two differed on how to handle wartime supplies.
On May 8, 1942, Wallace delivered his most famous speech, which became known by the phrase “Century of the Common Man”, to the Free World Association in New York City. This speech, grounded in Christian references, laid out a positive vision for the aftermath of the Second World War, beyond the defeat of the Nazis. He laid out a blueprint for a world of shared prosperity and in which colonialism and economic exploitation would be banned. The speech, and the book of the same name which appeared the following year, proved quite popular, but earned Wallace enemies among the Democratic leadership, business leaders, conservatives and allied leaders like Winston Churchill.
Wallace also famously spoke out during race riots in Detroit in 1943, declaring that the nation could not “fight to crush Nazi brutality abroad and condone race riots at home.”
In 1943, Wallace made a goodwill tour of Latin America, shoring up support among important allies. His trip proved a success, and helped persuade twelve countries to declare war on Germany. Regarding trade relationships with Latin America, he convinced the BEW to add “labor clauses” to contracts with Latin American producers. These clauses required producers to pay fair wages and provide safe working conditions for their employees and committed the United States to paying for up to half of the required improvements. This met opposition from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
After meeting Vyacheslav Molotov, Wallace arranged a trip to the “Wild East” of Russia. On May 23, 1944, he started a 25-day journey accompanied by Owen Lattimore. Coming from Alaska, they landed at Magadan where they were received by Sergei Goglidze and Dalstroi director Ivan Nikishov, both NKVD generals. The NKVD presented a fully sanitized version of the slave laborcamps in Magadan and Kolyma to their American guests, claiming that all the work was done by volunteers. The delegation was provided with entertainment, and by some accounts left impressed with the “development” of Siberia and the spirit of the “volunteers”. Lattimore’s film of the visit tells that “a village… in Siberia is a forum for open discussion like a town meeting in New England.” This visit took place while the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies; American propaganda regularly portrayed the Soviet Union in a positive light. The trip continued through Mongolia and then to China.
After Wallace feuded publicly with Jesse H. Jones and other high officials, Roosevelt stripped him of his war agency responsibilities and began to entertain the idea of replacing him on the presidential ticket. Although a Gallup poll taken just before the Democratic Party’s 1944 vice presidential nomination found 65% of those surveyed in favour of a renewed Vice Presidency for Wallace and only 2% favouring his eventual opponent, Harry S. Truman, it was Truman who went on to win the nomination. Wallace was succeeded as Vice President on January 20, 1945, and on April 12, Vice President Truman succeeded to the Presidency when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. Henry A. Wallace had missed being the 33rd President of the United States by just 82 days.
Secretary of Commerce
Roosevelt placated Wallace by appointing him Secretary of Commerce in March 1945. In a speech on April 12th 1946, Henry Wallace said ‘aside from our common language and common literary tradition, we have no more in common with Imperialistic England than with Communist Russia’. He was notoriously ‘soft’ on Communism, but his distaste for American involvement with Britain and Europe was widely shared across the political spectrum. In September 1946, he was fired by President Harry S. Truman because of disagreements about the policy towards the Soviet Union. He is the last former Vice President to serve in the President’s cabinet.
The New Republic
Following his term as Secretary of Commerce, Wallace became the editor of The New Republic magazine, using his position to criticize vociferously Truman’s foreign policy. On the declaration of the Truman Doctrine in 1947, he predicted it would mark the beginning of “a century of fear”.
The 1948 Presidential election
Wallace left his editorship position in 1948 to make an unsuccessful run as a Progressive Partycandidate in the 1948 U.S. presidential election. With Idaho Democratic U.S. Senator Glen H. Taylor as his running mate, his platform advocated friendly relations with the Soviet Union, an end to the nascentCold War, an end to segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance. His campaign was unusual for his time in that it included African American candidates campaigning alongside white candidates in the American South, and that during the campaign he refused to appear before segregated audiences or eat or stay in segregated establishments.
As a further sign of the times, he was noted by Time as ostentatiously riding through various cities and towns in the South “with his Negro secretary beside him”. A barrage of eggs and tomatoes were hurled at Wallace and struck him and his campaign members during the tour, while at the same time President Truman referred to such behavior towards Wallace as “highly un-American business which violated the American concept of fair play.” Wallace commented that “there is a long chain that links unknown young hoodlums in North Carolina or Alabama with men in finely tailored business suits in the great financial centers of New York or Boston, men who make a dollars-&-cents profit by setting race against race in the far away South.” State authorities in Virginia sidestepped enforcing its own segregation laws by declaring Wallace’s campaign gatherings as private parties.
The “guru letters” reappeared now and were published, seriously hampering his campaign. More damage was done to Wallace’s campaign when journalists H.L. Mencken and Dorothy Thompson, both longtime and vocal New Deal opponents, charged that Wallace and the Progressives were under the covert control of Communists.
Wallace’s refusal to publicly disavow the endorsement of his candidacy by the Communist Party (USA)cost him the backing of many anti-Communist liberals and of independent socialist Norman Thomas. In 1999, University of Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew, author of The Defence of the Realm, who worked with evidence in the Mitrokhin Archive and wrote the authorized history of the British Secret Service MI5, has stated publicly that he believed Wallace was a KGB agent, though he provided no evidence for this assertion.
Wallace suffered a decisive defeat in the election to the Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman. He finished in fourth place with 2.4% of the popular vote; some historians now believe his candidacy was a blessing in disguise for the President, as Wallace’s frequent criticisms of Truman’s foreign policy, combined with his avowed acceptance of Communist support, served as a refutation of the Republicans’ claim that Truman was “soft on communism”. Dixiecrat presidential candidate Strom Thurmondoutstripped Wallace in the popular vote. Thurmond managed to carry several states in the Deep South, gaining 39 electoral votes to Wallace’s electoral total of zero.
Later career and death
Wallace resumed his farming interests, and resided in South Salem, New York. During his later years, he made a number of advances in the field of agricultural science. His many accomplishments included a breed of chicken that at one point accounted for the overwhelming majority of all egg-laying chickens sold across the globe. The Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, the largest agricultural research complex in the world, is named for him.
In 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, Wallace broke with the Progressives and backed the U.S.-led effort in the Korean War. Despite this, according to Wallace’s diary, after his 1951 Senate Internal Security Subcommittee testimony, opinion polls showed that he was only beaten by gangsterLucky Luciano as the ‘least approved man in America’. Previously, after hearing from Gulag survivor and friend Vladimir Petrov about the true nature of the 1944 Vice Presidential visit to Magadan, Wallace had publicly apologized for having allowed himself to be fooled by the Soviets. In 1952, Wallace publishedWhere I Was Wrong, in which he explained that his seemingly-trusting stance toward the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin stemmed from inadequate information about Stalin’s crimes and that he now considered himself an anti-Communist.
He wrote various letters to “people who he thought had traduced (maligned) him” and advocated the re-election of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. In 1961, President-elect John F. Kennedy invited Wallace to his inauguration ceremony, even though he had supported Kennedy’s opponent Richard Nixon. A touched Wallace wrote to Kennedy: “At no time in our history have so many tens of millions of people been so completely enthusiastic about an Inaugural Address as about yours.”
Wallace first experienced the onsets of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1964. He died in Danbury, Connecticut, on November 18, 1965. His remains were cremated at Grace Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the ashes interred in Glendale Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.
In popular culture
Director Oliver Stone focused on Wallace’s career in the second episode, entitled “Roosevelt, Truman, and Wallace”, of his 2012 documentary series, Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.
Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Production and release
Oliver Stone and American University historian Peter J. Kuznick, began working on the project in 2008. Stone, Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham co-wrote the script. The documentary miniseries for Showtime had aworking title Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America. It covers “the reasons behind the Cold War with the Soviet Union, U.S. President Harry Truman‘s decision to drop theatomic bomb on Japan, and changes in America’s global role since the fall of Communism.” Stone is the director and narrator of all ten episodes. The series is a re-examination of some of the under-reported and darkest parts of American modern history using little known documents and newly uncovered archival material. The series looks beyond official versions of events to the deeper causes and implications and explores how events from the past still have resonant themes for the present day. Stone said: “From the outset I’ve looked at this project as a legacy to my children, and a way to understand the times I’ve lived through. I hope it can contribute to a more global insight into our American history.”
The first three episodes of the series premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 6, 2012, which Indiewire described as “extremely compelling” and “daring”. The series was personally presented by Stone at the Subversive Festival on May 4, 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia, which next to film screenings also included debates and public lectures by prominent intellectuals such as Slavoj Žižek and Tariq Ali.
Stone described the project as “the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. Certainly in documentary form, and perhaps in fiction, feature form.” Production took four years to complete. Stone confessed “It was supposed to take two years but it’s way over schedule”, The premiere was finally set for November 12, 2012. Stone spent $1 million of his own money on the budget, which had inflated from $3 million to $5 million.
The ten-part series is supplemented by a 750-page companion book, The Untold History of the United States, also written by Stone and Kuznick, released on Oct 30, 2012 by Simon & Schuster.
Kuznick objected to the working title “Secret History”, claiming that “the truth is that many of our ‘secrets’ have been hidden on the front page of the New York Times. If people think the secrets will be deep, dark conspiracies, they’ll be disappointed. We’ll be drawing on the best recent scholarship”. It was subsequently retitled The Untold History of the United States.
Style and format
The series has been said to be reminiscent of the famed British Thames Television series The World at War (1973–74). With the exception of an on-camera introduction and conclusion by Oliver Stone, the series contains no interview subjects. Instead, each episode consists of archival material: stock film, photographs, video and audio recordings, computer generated maps and diagrams, clips from fictional movies, and Stone’s voiceover narration. Historical quotations and writings from various figures are read by actors.
David Wiegand wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle: “The films are at their best when they provide a panoramic view of our history in the middle part of the 20th century. Ably abetted by the superb editing work by Alex Marquez”. Verne Gay for Newsday similarly praised the craft: “By far the most interesting part of “Untold” is the visual presentation. Stone has cobbled together a mother lode of chestnuts, including grainy newsreel footage and Soviet propaganda films. It’s all weirdly engrossing” but found the content less than provocative: “You keep waiting for a fresh insight, a new twist, a bizarre fact and after a while would even be profoundly grateful for some wacky Stone revisionism. It never comes. What’s “untold” here?”
In November 2012, Hudson Institute adjunct fellow historian Ronald Radosh (who was averse to the project since its announcement and encouraged a write-in campaign to cancel the series) lambasted it as “mendacious” Cold War revisionism and “mindless recycling of Stalin‘s propaganda,”noting similarities to Communist author and NKVD agent Carl Marzani‘s Soviet-published treatise We Can Be Friends. Writes Radosh:
Journalist Michael C. Moynihan criticized the book for “moral equivalence between the policies of the psychotically brutal Soviet Union and the frequently flawed policy of the United States” and called the title “misleading” in that nothing within the book was “untold” previously.