On History

Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone in Conversation

In working together on two challenging new documentaries —South of the Border and the forthcoming Showtime series Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States—filmmaker 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 forgotten—or deliberately buried—episodes of American history, from the U.S. intervention against the Russian Revolution, to the dynamic radicalism of the Wobblies, how Henry Wallace’s nomination for the vice-presidency was deliberately thwarted by Democratic Party machine insiders, to the ongoing close connections between various U.S. presidents and the Saudi royal family. For Stone and Ali—two of our most insightful observers on history and popular culture—no topic is sacred, no orthodoxy goes unchallenged.

About the author

Oliver Stone has directed, among other films Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, W., World Trade Center, 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 Untold History of the United States series for Showtime.

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 and Tariq Ali, two of our most provocative and radical voices, engage in a thought-provoking conversation about history--ripping 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

“There are larger truths than the supposedly factual accounts of events given in orthodox histories. The role of art is to make up for the overwhelming power of the Establishment by using emotion to intensify and magnify suppressed truths. Oliver Stone has done that in his films.” Howard Zinn

“Ali remains an outlier and intellectual bomb-thrower; an urbane, Oxford-educated polemicist.” Observer

“Empires may come and go but Tariq Ali, the rebel who has lost the streets but gained the ghettos, is here to stay, to fight on.” India Today