Books: Non-Fiction

The Untold History of the United States: Young Readers Editions, Vols 1 (1898-1945) & 2 (1945-1962)

Book — Non-fiction. By Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. Adapted by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Eric S. Singer. Vol 1. 400 pages. 2014. Vol 2. 320 pages. 2019.
These are two volumes of illustrated histories, adapted for students from a documentary book and film of the same name.

Time Periods: 19th Century, Industrial Revolution: 1877 - 1899, 20th Century, Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, World War I: 1910 - 1919, Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944, Cold War: 1945 - 1960, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974, All US History
Themes: Civil Rights Movements, Imperialism, Labor, Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity, Social Class, US Foreign Policy, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements, World History/Global Studies

This two-volume set of U.S. history books geared toward students was adapted from the companion book to the documentary The Untold History of the United States by Academy Award–winning director Oliver Stone and the historian Peter Kuznick. The first volume of The Untold History of the United States: Young Readers Edition was adapted by Newbery Honor recipient Susan Campbell Bartoletti. The second volume was adapted by high school and university educator Eric S. Singer.


The Untold History of the United States, Volume 1: Young Readers Edition, 1898-1945', adapted by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (2015)

Vol. 1 — The Untold History of the United States, Volume 1: Young Readers Edition, 1898-1945 

The first volume begins by describing the racist, anti-labor society that the U.S. elites promoted and enforced through violence. Then, with the stage set for themes of imperialist, anti-communist geopolitics abroad and of racist, exploitative policies at home, authors dive into the United States’ late 18th century colonial ambitions in the Pacific and Caribbean; the rise of socialism in the U.S. and abroad; the World Wars; and the arrival of the Atomic Age with the threat of nuclear war.

ISBN: 9781481421744 | Vol. 1 Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


The Untold History of the United States: Young Readers Edition, 1945-1962

Vol. 2 — The Untold History of the United States: Young Readers Edition, 1945-1962

The second volume traces how people around the world responded to the United States’s rise as a superpower from the end of World War II through an increasingly tense Cold War and, eventually, to the brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This volume dives deeper into the fallout from imperialist ambitions begun in the previous volume, through histories including those of nuclear testing in the Pacific islands and of U.S. corporate “banana republics” in Central America.

ISBN: 9781481421768 | Vol. 2 Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


Find out more about the documentary and the authors’ approach to interpreting U.S. history in a Democracy NOW! interview with Peter Kuznick and Oliver Stone.


See also the official website for the documentary on which the book is based.

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