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Latest Review of The Untold History of the United States, Young Readers Edition: Buffalo News

Updated: Nov 25, 2018

NONFICTION

The Untold History of the United States, Young Readers Edition, 1945-1962 by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, adapted by Eric S. Singer; Margaret McElderry Books, 288 pages ($19.99) Ages 10 and up. PRE-ORDER NOW

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Although this history is adapted for young readers, any baby boomers who as kids experienced "duck and cover" drills at school in the '50s and the Cold War paranoia then and afterward could benefit from this history of the U.S. With vividly described details (including the tragic fate of the residents of the Bikini atoll, relocated for atomic bomb tests, and the victims poisoned and maimed in Kazakhstan when the Soviet Union started testing its own bombs) and broad historical strokes, the authors examine the consequences of the U.S. decision to drop the atom bomb on Japan and the American enthusiasm for what became a nuclear arms race, the Korean War and the U.S.' extensive use of napalm there, the U.S. use of the CIA to overthrow Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953 after he nationalized the oil industry, and Arbenz in Guatemala after he defied the United Fruit company.  The politics of hawkish young John F. Kennedy and the disastrous Bay of Pigs outing are explored in detail, as is the Cuban Missile Crisis which brought the world to the brink of annihilation.

-Jean Westmoore


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